Thousands of people took to the streets in Venice Italy on Saturday, June 8, calling for a ban on big-capacity cruise liners in the port city following last week's collision between MSC Opera and a tourist boat.
Italian media reported that about 5,000 demonstrators marched through downtown carrying banners with slogans like "Keep large boats out of the lagoon". Gianfranco Bettin, president of the local municipality of Marghera, was quoted as saying that the giants must leave the Venice Lagoon as "they're incompatible with the delicate balance of the ecosystem and dangerous for the city."
The demonstration was organized by the "No Big Ships" group following the accident last Sunday in which the 13-deck MSC ship suffered an engine failure and knocked into a luxury tourist boat, scraping along the dockside. 4 tourists were slightly injured.
Critics say the waves the cruise ships create are eroding the foundations of the Italian lagoon city, which regularly floods, thus leaving iconic sites like Saint Mark's Square underwater.