Protests against the policy of the crown: those who take to the streets in Italy


In Italy, demonstrations against the Crown policy have been held in various cities since the weekend: there have been riots and devastation. Who is involved in the protests?

Curated by Jörg Seisselberg, ARD Studio Rome

In the center of Turin the consequences of the riots are still evident. “I could cry for the vandalism of certain people. It is not demonstration, it is criminal,” says an elderly passerby.

Broken glass in a shopping street, some shops have even been looted. The newspaper “La Repubblica” writes about scenes similar to the Turin civil war.

But also in Milan and Naples, Trieste and Lecce, Pescara and Catania, the protests against the government’s Covid-19 decrees have turned into violence in recent days. In addition to the owners of restaurants and bars, in the capital, Rome, right-wing extremist groups such as Forza Nuova had mobilized. They set off fireworks and attacked police officers.

Rights promise to be popular

Sociologist Lorenzo Zamponi, professor at the elite SNS University of Florence, says: “There is a very strong attempt by far-right groups to jump on the bandwagon of widespread displeasure and, in a certain way, to become representatives of these protests “.

The government is alarmed by the riots nationwide. Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese called on the police prefects of the cities to be particularly vigilant. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expresses understanding and respect for peaceful protests, but in view of the riots he warns of violent “professional” criminals who have sneaked in: “There are groups that try to stir up controversy. Those who take to the streets to demonstrate must be careful. from infiltration. “

These attempts to exploit peaceful protests exist, confirms the sociologist Zamponi. Violent football ultras also took part in the riots.

“The scissors of inequality are widening”

At the same time, Zamponi warns that the excesses of violence of recent nights in Italy should not be attributed only to organized groups. There were also the young losers of the crisis, mobilized through social networks: “To some extent, these riots express widespread frustration and anger. All the socio-economic data shows that the social gap of inequality has widened even further to following the crisis. We are also talking about representatives of a suburban sub-proletariat expressing an anger that evidently exists “.

In the protests, according to Zamponi, these young, violent losers of the crisis stand side by side with a middle class frustrated by anti-crown measures: restaurateurs and other small business owners who are losing their livelihoods.

Zamponi sees parallels with the French yellow jackets

Overall, there is a mixture of people on the street in Italy, says the Florentine sociologist, who remembers the so-called yellow vest movement in France. Zamponi does not think that small far-right parties such as Forza Nuova will gain importance due to the riots.

“But I believe that the so-called institutional law can benefit from it. Because it is traditionally close to the social groups that are currently protesting. And it has very much adopted the content of the radical right. I am thinking of Matteo Salvini’s Lega or Giorgia’s Brothers of Italy party. Meloni. You will try to speak out for these protests and take advantage of the government’s growing unpopularity. “

Also to counter this growing dissatisfaction, Conte yesterday promised billions in aid to small businesses and their employees who suffer from current restrictions. The 27 billion euros in aid for the crisis of the EU part-time work program, received yesterday in Rome from Brussels, are also intended to alleviate social concerns in the country.

The Tagesschau reported on this topic on October 27, 2020 at 8pm.


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