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Coronavirus: Protests in Italy over new pandemic crackdown turn violent

Thousands of protesters turned out several Italian towns and cities on Monday to vent their anger, sometimes violently, at the latest pandemic restrictions.

The demonstrations came on the day when restaurants and cafes were forced to close early, and cinemas, gyms and other leisure venues were closed altogether.

The new measures are the government’s response to soaring COVID-19 infections which have brought fears that hospitals may become overwhelmed.

Violence clouds peaceful protests

In the northern city of Turin, some demonstrators broke off from a peaceful protest, smashing store windows on an elegant shopping street, setting smoke bombs and hurling bottles at police in a main city square where the Piedmont regional government is headquartered, RAI state TV said.

A photographer was injured by a hurled bottle, RAI said. Police fired tear gas to clear the protesters in Piazza del Castello. Several people were reportedly arrested.

In that same square, hours earlier, some 300 taxis peacefully lined up in neat rows to draw attention to their economic losses from the implosion of tourism and disappearance of workers from the city centre as they do their jobs remotely during the pandemic.

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In Italy’s business capital, Milan, police used tear gas to scatter protesters Monday night, and an Associated Press journalist saw at least two people detained.

Trams were vandalised, bins set on fire, scooters overturned and some windows smashed. Bottles and smoke bombs were hurled at security forces who responded with tear gas.

In the south, clashes were also reported between groups of youths and police in Naples, where thousands of people called for the resignation of the head of the Campania region.

Source : euronews

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