The First Looting Raids on Italian Supermarkets as Covid Lockdown Drives People to Desperation

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How far “behind the curve” are we from Italy again?

Police with batons and guns have moved in to protect supermarkets on the Italian island of Sicily after reports of looting by locals who could no longer afford food.

The novel coronavirus has claimed more than 10,000 lives [No it hasn’t, most died with covid of other causes] across the Mediterranean country, about a third of the world”s total, creating the worst emergency Italians have known since World War II. [No it hasn’t, the crisis was created by the over-the-top government response.]

Simultaneously, it has eroded the economy, which had been the third-largest in the European Union before the new illness reached Italian shores from China last month. A lockdown designed to curb contagion has shut almost everything across the country since March 12, depriving millions of steady incomes.

The building sense of desperation reportedly boiled over on Thursday in Sicily, long one of Italy”s least developed regions.

According to La Repubblica daily, a group of locals ran out of one of Palermo”s supermarkets without paying. “We have no money to pay, we have to eat,” someone reportedly shouted at the cashiers. In other Sicilian towns, small shops owners that are still allowed to stay open have been pressured by the locals to give them free food, Il Corriere della Sera said.

The paper wrote of a ticking “social time bomb” in the region, which is home to around five million people, and which has officially recorded 57 deaths from COVID-19. “I am afraid that concerns shared by much of the population — about health, income, the future — will turn into anger and hatred if this crisis continues,” Giuseppe Provenzano, Italy”s minister overseeing southern regions, told La Repubblica. An AFP reporter saw four armed policemen guarding one of Palermo”s supermarket entrances on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

They stood silently, hands behind their backs or tucked into the straps of their bulletproof vests, their faces partially hidden by green masks. They did not speak or interact with the shoppers, a silent presence seemingly aimed at showing a government still in control.

“People who attacked the supermarket are ignorant,” said Carmelo Badalamenti, a local who like others stuffed his red cart with groceries before everything shut down for the day Sunday.

“Plundering the supermarket will not solve anything.” In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte appears aware of the building sense of anxiety, stress and fear gripping the nation.

Making one of his increasingly regular evening television appeals to the nation Saturday evening, Conte promised to send food vouchers to those who cannot afford groceries. “We know that many suffer but the state is there,” Conte said. His government is earmarking 400 million euros ($445 million) for the emergency food relief programme.

Source: AFP


Videos have emerged of desperate people in Italy begging for help because they have run out of money and food.

Well into its third week of the coronavirus lockdown, Italy is still seeing many hundreds of people dying each day.

Progress in containing the COVID-19 spread is slow, hope and patience are fading and the economic cost is becoming ever more acute.

The strain is showing in the south of the country where one man in Apulia reportedly called police after the bank closed and they couldn’t withdraw his mother’s pension – their only income.

Footage shows him shouting at officers, telling them the family has no money, his mother begging them to go to their home so she could show them they have no food. It’s hard to watch. It’s what desperation looks like.

Another video has been shared around the country showing a father with his young daughter addressing the Italian prime minister, saying: “It’s already 15-20 days that we’ve been inside and we’re at our limit.”

He gestures to his little girl who is eating a piece of bread and says: “Like my daughter, other children in a few days won’t be able to eat this bit of bread. Rest assured, you will regret this because we’re going to have a revolution.”

Images have also emerged of police descending on supermarkets in Palermo in Sicily after reports people have started stealing to feed themselves. And groups have been set up in the last few days on social media to organise raids of supermarkets.

Sky News was sent a video message of a man in Sicily with a gun even offering to kill.

The mayor of Palermo told Sky News crime gangs are exploiting people’s hardship and inciting violence – he warns a social emergency is next.

“Discomfort and malaise are growing and we are recording worrying reports of protest and anger that is being exploited by criminals who want to destabilise the system,” said Leoluca Orlando.

“The more time passes, the more resources are exhausted. The few savings people have are running out. This tells us socio-economic issues will erupt.”

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has made €25bn available to support families and businesses affected by lockdown. Some say they’re still waiting for that help.

Others don’t qualify because their employment is not officially recorded. Italy has a big cash economy of unregistered workers – the large majority of this in the south.

The further south you go, the higher the level of deprivation and the higher the unemployment.

While the virus hasn’t reached the same crisis levels in southern Italy, hunger and hardship threaten to be even bigger problems.

Italy is ahead of other countries in this outbreak and unrest threatens to be the next chapter in this crisis.

As the country struggles to bring the virus spread under control, the government has extended lockdown from 3 April with no new deadline.

Lockdown is the only solution to save lives. [Propaganda much?]

But in southern Italy, for many, it feels like it’s threatening their very survival.

Source: Sky News

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anne
anne
2 months ago

this does not make sense

Jihadi Colin
2 months ago

In India, migrant workers – who form the backbone of the economy – have been thrown out of work in the tens of millions and are desperately trying to go back to their hometowns and villages where at least they have a measure of social support and don’t have to pay rent. The Modi regime, which clamped down a three week nationwide lockdown at three hours’ notice – Modi makes these announcements always at 8pm on prime time television because optics – unleashed its police on them, brutally beating and humiliating them on the streets. The Modi regime tame media totally ignored this in favour of breathless reports on how celebrities were “coping with the crisis”. This finally broke down when hundreds of thousands of migrant workers found themselves stranded in the heart of Delhi, unable to find buses to take them home, despite said buses having been promised by the Modi regime. Then it could no longer be ignored. So what did the Modi regime do? It immediately ordered all the states to close their borders to stop migrant workers from leaving. The state governments are supposed to house and feed and take care of their medical needs, but how this is to be managed isn’t something Modi explained. Typically of Modi, this is just another “resolute” stunt which will cause massive hardship and chaos but the blame will go to those trying to implement the policy, not to der Führer himself.

Brion Adair
Brion Adair
2 months ago

Bread and circuses when they run out of bread and close down all the circuses.

Rowdy-Yates
Rowdy-Yates
2 months ago

Mussolini once said that the hardest people to govern are the Italians.

Ilya
Ilya
2 months ago

A fire burns, but everyone dies from smoke inhilation.. ‘no’, you say – the fire didn’t kill them.

Absurdism is just another take on nihilism.

chortovadooshina
chortovadooshina
2 months ago

So is it true Italians…or “immigrant” Italians?

Jihadi Colin
2 months ago

Keep your racist innuendo on sites which cater to it.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
2 months ago
Reply to  Jihadi Colin

go back to hell

Jihadi Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

There is no hell, imbecile. I don’t think Marko as welcoming of you racist scum as Russia Insider is.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
2 months ago
Reply to  Jihadi Colin

you jews try to create hell on earth taking instructions from your devil god in the OT. if Marko does not see the light he will soon cause he does not yet connect the jews forcing the west to fight their wars. you cant be anti empire without being anti jew

Jihadi Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

If you think I’m a Jew you’re an even bigger idiot than your fellow racists. But that’s not surprising because you need to be a gibbering moron to be a racist. The Nazi worshipping site Russia Insider is perfect for you.

Mikhail Garchenko
Mikhail Garchenko
2 months ago

…it´s a matter of time. All these measures will be worst that the disease itself. Just “wait and watch”…

Jihadi Colin
2 months ago

Yes, a point I’ve repeatedly made: even if COVID-19 is as deadly as presented, the measures to contain it will kill far more than it possibly could. And that’s probably the point.

Anti-Empire