Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against new lockdown measures in Piazza Castello in Turin, Italy, on October 26, 2020. Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Italian are violently protesting a second wave of lockdown measures imposed Monday to combat a boom in COVID-19 cases.
Since Monday, gyms, pools, cinemas, and theaters have been required to close until November 24, and bars and restaurants were forced to close by 6 p.m. each day.
Demonstrators clashed with the police in major cities like Rome, Turin, Milan, and Naples, as well as in smaller towns. Police made dozens of arrests.
Videos posted to social media showed protesters hitting police vans with bats, and a Gucci store in Turin being looted.
On Sunday, Italy reported a new record of 21,273 daily new coronavirus cases, along with 128 deaths.
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People across Italy are violently protesting a second wave of lockdown measures imposed Monday to combat a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Sunday that “to avoid a second general lockdown,” gyms, swimming pools, cinemas, and theaters must shutter until November 24 at the earliest, with all bars and restaurants to close by 6 p.m. every day.
This week Italy entered its worst period of the pandemic since March and April, when it was the world’s epicenter of the pandemic.
On Monday, the country recorded 17,012 new cases and 141 new deaths, according to the health ministry. On Sunday, it also reported a new high of 21,273 daily new cases, along with 128 deaths.
Demonstrators and riot police in Turin’s Piazza Castello on October 26, 2020. Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Despite this, the new rules were met with derision across Italy.
Businesses said they will crumble under the measures, though Conte has promised a compensation package to alleviate the damage.
Protests also broke out in major cities and small towns alike. The largest and most violent were seen in Turin, Milan, and Naples.
Video posted to social media showed a group of men breaking into and looting a Gucci store in Turin on Monday.
Turin:A group of protesters destroys Gucci window.
The marchers claimed that- along with bartenders and restaurant owners- they were also protesting on behalf of shopkeepers.
Exactly, how are you helping them if you destroy their stores? #italy #noviolence #turinprotests pic.twitter.com/CsDrLCtIsJ
Two Egyptian nationals were arrested over the looting, the ANSA news agency reported, adding that arrests were also made over the looting of a Louis Vuitton store in the city.
A total of six people were arrested in Turin on Monday in relation to “violence, fires, and looting,” according to ANSA.
Earlier in the evening, dozens of the city’s taxi drivers created a peaceful blockade in Piazza Castello, a popular city square, to protest the lockdown, the Stato Quotidiano newspaper said.
Protesters in Naples also gathered to protest the new lockdown measures on Monday night, with many in attendance creating a din by shaking cutlery and cocktail mixers, according to La Repubblica.
Citizens and shopkeepers protest in Piazza Plebiscito in Naples, Italy, on October 26, 2020. Manuel Dorati/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Videos also showed protesters in the city attacking police vans with clubs.
#RT @EchoPRN: RT @marcfriedrich7: BREAKING:
Massive violent riots in Naples, Italy 🇮🇹 against a new #lockdown.
They want president @GiuseppeConteIT to step down.
People are tired, desperate and have enough
#Covid_19 #Napoli #Naples pic.twitter.com/Ch4nQ8vfqG
In Milan, police detained 28 people following clashes with protesters, according to La Repubblica.
And in Rome, around 300 people gathered to protest, with two police officers injured during clashes.
Riot police during demonstrations in Milan, Italy, on October 26, 2020. Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Protesters also gathered in Lecce, Trieste, Viareggio, Pescara, Catania, and Cremona.
A group of protesters Lecce chanted the slogan: “Better the risk of dying from COVID than the certainty of dying of hunger,” La Repubblica reported.
Conte said Sunday that the anger was understandable, but added: “We can’t allow professional organizers of social unrest to infiltrate these protests.”
A small anti-lockdown demonstration in Piazza Vittoria in Brescia, Italy, on October 26, 2020. Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The measures that came into force Monday at the latest and most severe in a string of new rules introduced this fall.
Most recently, on October 19, Conte gave local mayors the power to shut down their town centers by 9 p.m.
Before that, on October 7, the government made it compulsory to wear masks outdoors.
In September, Italy seemed to be avoiding the second wave that was hitting Europe. This week, it joined its neighbors in struggling to contain their outbreaks.
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