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People across Italy violently protested new lockdown measures imposed after a spike in COVID-19 cases, setting fires and looting luxury stores

People across Italy violently protested new lockdown measures imposed after a spike in COVID-19 cases, setting fires and looting luxury stores
Demonstrators clash with riot police in Piazza Castello in Turin, Italy, on Monday. Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Italians violently protested lockdown measures imposed Monday after a boom in COVID-19 cases.

  • Gyms, pools, cinemas, and theaters were required to close until November 24, and bars and restaurants were forced to close by 6 p.m. each day.

  • Demonstrators clashed with police officers in cities like Rome, Turin, Milan, and Naples, as well as in smaller towns. The police made dozens of arrests.

  • Videos posted on social media showed protesters hitting police vans with bats and people looting a Gucci store in Turin.

  • On Sunday, Italy reported a record 21,273 daily new coronavirus cases, along with 128 deaths.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

People across Italy violently protested new lockdown measures imposed Monday after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Sunday that “to avoid a second general lockdown,” gyms, swimming pools, cinemas, and theaters must close 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 an 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 reported a high of 21,273 daily new cases, along with 128 deaths.

Demonstrators clash with Riot Police during the protest against the lockdown in Piazza Castello on October 26, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The protest is organized to protest against the blockade to restaurant and bars and curfew imposed in the Piedmont Region and by the Italian Government of the evening lockdown which will start from today at 6pm to contain the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Demonstrators and riot police in Piazza Castello. Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Despite this, the new rules were met with derision across Italy.

Businesses said they would crumble under the measures, though Conte has promised a compensation package to alleviate damage.

Protests broke out in cities and small towns alike on Monday. The largest and most violent were in Turin, Milan, and Naples.

Videos posted on social media showed a group of people breaking into and looting a Gucci store in Turin.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1320870955904892928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
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

Italy’s ANSA news agency reported that two Egyptian nationals were arrested over a Gucci store looting and that arrests were also made over the looting of a Louis Vuitton store in the city.

Six people were arrested in Turin on Monday “in relation to violence, fires and looting,” ANSA said.

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.

Many people in Naples who gathered to protest the new lockdown measures created a din by banging cookware like cutlery and cocktail mixers, according to La Repubblica.

Citizens together with shopkeepers protest in Piazza Plebiscito against the anti-Covid restrictions imposed by the Italian Government of Giuseppe Conte and the Regional Council of Governor Vincenzo De Luca, to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, in Naples, Italy, on 26 October 2020. After the last Dpcm of Giuseppe Conte's Italian Government, which establishes the closure of various commercial activities (gyms, cinemas, theatres, amusement arcades, wellness centres) and the closure at 6pm for restaurants, pubs and coffebars, until November 24th, bringing a series of protests and disapproval in many Italian squares by citizens and traders due to the loss of job opportunities. (Photo by Manuel Dorati/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Citizens and shopkeepers protest in Piazza Plebiscito in Naples on Monday. Manuel Dorati/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Videos also showed protesters in the city attacking police vans with clubs.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1320260273207463936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
#RT @EchoPRN: RT @marcfriedrich7: BREAKING:
Massive violent riots in Naples, Italy đŸ‡®đŸ‡¹ 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, the police detained 28 people following clashes with protesters, according to La Repubblica.

And in Rome, about 300 people gathered to protest, with two police officers reportedly injured during the clashes.

Riot police during anti-government demonstrations on October 26, 2020 in Milan, Italy. Following a surge in new COVID-19 cases, demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest against Italy's new restrictions, which includes the 6pm closure of bars and restaurants, the complete closure of most outdoor sporting and entertainment facilities and a total ban on fans in soccer stadiums. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Riot police at demonstrations in Milan on Monday. Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Protesters also gathered in Lecce, Trieste, Viareggio, Pescara, Catania, and Cremona.

A group of protesters Lecce chanted “Better the risk of dying from COVID than the certainty of dying of hunger,” La Repubblica reported.

Conte said on Sunday that the anger was understandable but added that “we can’t allow professional organizers of social unrest to infiltrate these protests.”

A small group of demonstrators gathered in Piazza Vittoria, Brescia, Italy, on October 26, 2020 to protest against the measures decided by the government. The new ordinance of the Prime Minister comes into force today. It provides, among other restrictions, the closure of bars and restaurants from 6 pm to 5 am and the total closure of theaters. (Photo by Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A small anti-lockdown demonstration in Piazza Vittoria in Brescia on Monday. Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The measures imposed on Monday were the latest and most severe in a string of rules introduced this fall.

On October 19, Conte gave local mayors the power to close their town centers by 9 p.m.

And on October 7, the government made it compulsory to wear masks outdoors.

In September, Italy seemed to be avoiding the second COVID-19 wave that was hitting Europe. But it has joined its neighbors in struggling to contain outbreaks.

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Erin Clark

Erin is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional football matches. She is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. She currently caters her skills for the sports and health section of Report Door.

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