In the first quarter of 2020, the Italian economy suffered a drop in its GDP of 5.4%, a percentage that in the second quarter increased to a dramatic 12.4%. The most recent estimate from the International Monetary Fund in its World Economic Outlook predicts that the world GDP will fall 4.4%, and ninety million people in the world are at risk of falling into poverty. For Italy a fall in GDP of 10.6% is expected. Covid restrictions protesters Italy
Italy emerged from its lockdown on May 4, initiating its so-called Phase 2, during which activities would be able to gradually return to normal. That same day I was present at the first protest that took place at the Piazza del Duomo, where participants were fined 400 euros for not respecting the ban on large gatherings. Covid restrictions protesters Italy
As the days went by, these protests became generalized and included many economic and social sectors protesting the slow response of the government in implementing economic aid measures. The Piazza del Duomo, The Pirelli Tower, and the seat of the government of the Lombardy Region were the daily locations for these demonstrations.
On May 6 a group of restaurant, bar, and pub owners came together to express their discontent by bringing their empty chairs to the Arch of Peace. When they were interviewed for television they were fined by the authorities. Paolo Poli, one of the participants, staged a hunger strike at that very moment and stayed on the spot with a tent and a sleeping bag.
On the morning of May 30, the Piazza del Duomo, which had remained quiet for some months, was the scene of protest by General Pappalardo and his “Orange Vests”. Crying “Libertà,” Libertà!” (Freedom, Freedom!) the protestors brazenly disobeyed the mask mandate and social distancing, because they consider the coronavirus a political conspiracy to hand over Italian sovereignty to China. Covid restrictions protesters Italy
Later that afternoon in the same plaza, 2000 employees and artists from the worlds of culture and entertainment gathered to make their voices and complaints heard and display banners bearing articles of the Italian constitution that explicitly protect culture. After various public performances they concluded by singing and dancing to the rhythm of the folk song “Bella Ciao”. This extraordinary gathering is part of another gallery on this website. (#convocatecidalvivo)
On June 6 it was the turn of Italy’s “Zorro”, Riccardo Germani, to protest. This time he did not stand at an open window mocking the right-wing politician Matteo Salvini, but arrived with thousands of people from all milieus of life, crying out that the weakest should not bear the brunt of the crisis, and opposing the policy of the current government of Giuseppe Conte.
The text continues in the gallery COVID PROTEST II
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Covid restrictions protesters Italy