On a day when Milan hoped to garner support for a brighter economic future with the opening day of Milan Expo 2015, celebrations were overshadowed by scenes of overturned cars set on fire, clouds of smoke, police firing tear gas at rioters, and protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs filling the city streets, along with anti-expo graffiti and broken storefront windowsThe people involved in the #NoExpo protests see the event as “a symbol of waste and corruption,” and are comprised of “anti-globalisation and environmental activists,” according to news report from Reuters.

The confrontations were spurred hours after prime minister Matteo Renzi made a comment at the opening ceremony noting how the six-month celebration of architecture and design was focused on sustainability and food production. The fair, which hosts at least 140 countries each with a representative pavilion, was expected to produce around €10 billion ($10.75 billion) for the Italian city—half of which would be from tourism.

According to Reuters, Pope Francis was present through “a televised link-up,” and said "in certain ways, the Expo itself is part of this paradox of abundance, it obeys the culture of waste and does not contribute to a model of equitable and sustainable development.”

Here's what some people have to say about the #NoExpo movement: