Earlier this year Italy became the first entire nation to impose strict lockdown and social distancing measures when it was the first to see a major coronavirus outbreak outside of Wuhan, China.
By the close of May, just as the United States took the lead globally in number of confirmed cases, Italy's numbers had fallen and lockdown restrictions were dropped, with its daily infection rate remaining under control through summer. However, Italy's case numbers began soaring once again starting September into this month.
Looks like there are violent protests unfolding right now in Naples Italy specifically people angry at new lock down measures that were just imposed pic.twitter.com/uT8DSdrOnV— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) October 23, 2020
Over the weekend the country saw a new record daily high.
Reuters reports that "COVID-19 cases across the country have risen seven-fold since the start of the month, jumping to 19,143 on Friday and raising fears that the pandemic is spiraling out of control."
Local media dubbed weekend clashes with police in Naples a appearing more like guerilla warfare.
Naturally government leaders are once again eyeing a total lockdown of the peninsula, but it's evident many Italians aren't having it. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has just issued a new emergency decree Sunday which once again shutters all cinemas, theatres, gyms and swimming pools. And further bars and restaurants have been ordered to close by 6pm every night.
This set off major protests across various cities, especially in Rome and Naples, which led to clashes with police over the weekend. Initially peaceful, local media have described many demonstrations rapidly spiraled into fights with police led by hundreds or far-right protesters.
BREAKING. Violent protests ongoing in Naples, Italy, against the midnight full curfew enforced from tonight against #coronavirus #covid19 and region Campania governor De Luca pushing for a full lockdown. Crazy scenes. pic.twitter.com/XYpzIbBAv4— Antonello Guerrera (@antoguerrera) October 23, 2020
In Rome fireworks were shot at police trying to disperse a central plaza.
The mayhem is believed to have been led by the right wing Fuerza Nova party which called for the population to resist what it called “health dictatorship and curfews”.
NAPLES, ITALY IS RISING RIGHT NOW AGAINST THE CURFEWS https://t.co/yZ97wM66nA— Robin Monotti Graziadei (@robinmonotti) October 23, 2020
Meanwhile Italy's southern Campania region has moved to implement a total lockdown of the province, with its leaders urging the rest of the country to follow suit, according to Reuters.
Italy Fights Back!— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) October 23, 2020
Thousands protest against the Socialist government tyrannical coronavirus lockdown measures in Naples
Crowds chant: "Freedom, freedom, freedom!"
Protests also breaking out in Salerno, Nocera & other cities across Campaniapic.twitter.com/GL1cZ0AH0u
This had set off the fiercest demonstrations thus far in Naples Friday night, with a handful of people arrested, while in Rome Saturday night up to a dozen or more were arrested.
Likely anti-lockdown marches and protests will only grow - a trend witnessed in other countries that have attempted to reimpose lockdowns after long adapting to a 'new normal' of common sense social distancing measures.