Europe in the Grip of Anti-Lockdown Protests

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Europe in the Grip of Anti-Lockdown Protests
Riot police used tear gas to disperse crowds in Milan, Italy. image: Twitter

A wave of anti-lockdown protests have swept across Europe as thousands of furious demonstrators clashed with police in cities across Italy and Spain.


Protests erupted across Europe last night as thousands of angry demonstrators called on their governments to reconsider a second-round of lockdown restrictions. Violence was reported in at least two Italian major northern cities, Milan and Turin, as vast crowds protested freedom-limiting restrictions enforced to tackle the second surge in coronavirus cases.

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Witnesses reported that a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci shop, were ransacked in central Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off huge firecrackers and lighting coloured flares. Things got so bad that the Police had to fire tear gas to disperse the violent crowds who were chanting “freedom, freedom, freedom” as they hurled petrol bombs in the city centre.

Hours earlier, however, 300 taxis peacefully lined up in neat rows in the same area to draw attention to the financial losses from the pandemic.


Meanwhile, in Barcelona, demonstrators set rubbish bins on fire in the streets – before riot police intervened to bring the chaos to an end. The demonstrations came just one day after Spain declared a second nationwide state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands.

The new state of emergency will initially last for 15 days but the Government plans to ask parliament for a six-month extension. If passed, the restrictions – which include an 11 pm to 6 am curfew – could be enforced until early May 2021.



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