Rallies Across Italy Protest Berlusconi's Sex Scandal

Thousands of Italians took to the streets in some 200 cities across the country Sunday in protest of Prime Minister's Silvio Berlusconi's alleged behavior toward women.

The largest gathering was in Rome, where organizers said 100,000 people gathered, under the slogan, "If not now, when?" In Milan, organizers estimated that 60,000 people gathered. Protests also took place outside Italy, including marches in Tokyo and Geneva.

Sunday's demonstrations were the biggest anti-Berlusconi rallies since the most recent sex scandal broke in January, when Milan prosecutors said they were investigating whether the prime minister abused his power by helping an underaged woman, who he had allegedly paid for sex, get out of jail on a theft charge.

Berlusconi has denied that he has ever paid anyone for sex. A string of sex scandals have dogged him.

The protests were organized by women's groups and publicized by internet. The turnout surprised the organizers, who didn't want the demonstrations to be political, though that's what they became.