The presidents of three of Rome's largest immigrants communities, Albanian, Bangladeshi and north African, have started a hunger strike in protest against the length of time it takes to renew a permesso di soggiorno in Rome. Immigrants whose permits are running out now are being given appointments at the end of December 2005 to present themselves at the city's police department (questura) for a renewal. Permits for immigrants last only one year and without a valid permit it is impossible to arrange housing, schooling or travel outside Italy. The three presidents, who represent about 40,000 immigrants in Rome, have taken up position in Piazza della Republica and say that they will not eat until their demands are satisfied. They have sent a letter to the president of the republic and have asked the Rome's prefetto, who is in charge of law and order in the province, to intervene. A general meeting of all immigrants in Rome who are waiting for the renewal of their permits has been called on Sunday 3 October at Piazza della Repubblica.