Anti-lockdown demonstrators clash with police in Italy and French Catholics demand right to worship


Anti-lockdown demonstrators clashed with police in Italy today while French Catholics demanded the right to worship as Covid protests have broken out across Europe. 

Angry protesters faced off with riot officers in Rome this afternoon, shouting and chanting to express their frustration at the latest regional lockdown measures imposed by the Italian government.

Meanwhile in France, protests took place across the country demanding the return of religious services after all were put on hold with the latest set of lockdown restrictions.  

Protesters clashed with Italian police at Piazza Venezia today during a demonstration against the country’s latest lockdown measures for coronavirus, which have seen a curfew imposed

The protest soon got heated and demonstrators were seen facing off with the Italian police barricade, meanwhile others light up flares in the streets

The protest soon got heated and demonstrators were seen facing off with the Italian police barricade, meanwhile others light up flares in the streets 

Elsewhere, in France, several protests took place across the country demanding the return of religious services after the latest restrictions saw them temporarily paused. Protesters gathered in multiple locations, many holding signs which read 'We want mass'

Elsewhere, in France, several protests took place across the country demanding the return of religious services after the latest restrictions saw them temporarily paused. Protesters gathered in multiple locations, many holding signs which read ‘We want mass’

Angry protesters fought with riot officers in the Italian capital, shouting and chanting to express their frustration at the latest regional lockdown measures

Angry protesters fought with riot officers in the Italian capital, shouting and chanting to express their frustration at the latest regional lockdown measures

The rally, organised by far right groups, including ultra-right Forza Nuova, and the No Mask movement, became heated and police were seen holding batons

The rally, organised by far right groups, including ultra-right Forza Nuova, and the No Mask movement, became heated and police were seen holding batons 

While police officers wore masks and riot shields, many members of the protesters were not socially distanced and were not wearing masks

While police officers wore masks and riot shields, many members of the protesters were not socially distanced and were not wearing masks 

In the latest move to slow the spread of infection in Italy, new measures, which came into force on November 6, mean people are only allowed to be out of their homes from 10pm to 5am for work or health reasons until December 3

In the latest move to slow the spread of infection in Italy, new measures, which came into force on November 6, mean people are only allowed to be out of their homes from 10pm to 5am for work or health reasons until December 3

The latest lockdown measures in Italy, which came into force on November 6, mean people are only allowed to be out of their homes from 10pm to 5am for work or health reasons until December 3. 

The demonstration, organised by far-right parties, including ultra-right Forza Nuova, and the No Mask movement, saw large groups of people pile into Piazza Venezia, in Rome, unable to social distance – with some not wearing masks.   

Protesters attempted to barge past the police barricade at the demonstration, which was attended by the leaders of Forza Nuova, Giuliano Castellino and Roberto Fiore, with some squaring up to officers who were armed with batons and dressed in riot gear.

Antonio Pappalardo, ex brigadier general of Carabinieri and leader of Orange Jackets anti-establishment movement, was also pictured at the demonstration alongside the group. 

People were pictured being detained by police and led away from the site of the protest in Piazza Venezia, Rome, including one man only wearing a mask over his mouth and holding a large banner

People were pictured being detained by police and led away from the site of the protest in Piazza Venezia, Rome, including one man only wearing a mask over his mouth and holding a large banner

As well as Forza Nuova and the No Mask movement, members of the Orange Jackets also attended the protests in Rome, where some demonstrators set off smoke grenades

As well as Forza Nuova and the No Mask movement, members of the Orange Jackets also attended the protests in Rome, where some demonstrators set off smoke grenades

Antonio Pappalardo (pictured), ex brigadier general of Carabinieri and leader of Orange Jackets movement, attended the demonstration alongside his group

Antonio Pappalardo (pictured), ex brigadier general of Carabinieri and leader of Orange Jackets movement, attended the demonstration alongside his group

The anti-establishment Orange Jackets leader spoke to crowds at the protests in Rome today, many of which were stood close together and not wearing masks

The anti-establishment Orange Jackets leader spoke to crowds at the protests in Rome today, many of which were stood close together and not wearing masks

Also at the protest were the leaders of Forza Nuova ultra right movement Giuliano Castellino (left) and Roberto Fiore (right)

Also at the protest were the leaders of Forza Nuova ultra right movement Giuliano Castellino (left) and Roberto Fiore (right)

Among the chaos and demonstrations, a priest celebrated mass outside which was attended by a large crowd who were not social distanced

Among the chaos and demonstrations, a priest celebrated mass outside which was attended by a large crowd who were not social distanced

As well as getting into altercations with the police, people were also seen waving Italian flags, holding up banners and setting off flares

As well as getting into altercations with the police, people were also seen waving Italian flags, holding up banners and setting off flares

Police officers brandished batons as protesters shouted and attempted to get through the wall the police had formed to block the demonstration

Police officers brandished batons as protesters shouted and attempted to get through the wall the police had formed to block the demonstration

In among the aggressive interactions with police, people were also seen waving Italian flags, holding up banners, setting off flares and one priest even celebrated mass. 

Italy has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, registering more than 33,900 new infections and 546 deaths in the last 24 hours, resulting in the government launching a fresh set of restrictions on its people to slow the rate of infection.

Elsewhere, in France, Catholic protesters held scattered demonstrations around France today, holding banners reading ‘Let us Pray’ and ‘We Want Mass’. 

Italy registered over 33,900 new infections and 546 deaths in the last 24 hours and it is hoped the latest measures will help slow the spread of infection in the country

Italy registered over 33,900 new infections and 546 deaths in the last 24 hours and it is hoped the latest measures will help slow the spread of infection in the country

One Italian woman at the protest in Piazza Venezia, Rome, was seen hugging a police officer in provocation today

One Italian woman at the protest in Piazza Venezia, Rome, was seen hugging a police officer in provocation today

In Nantes, a Catholic priest listened to the confession of a believer outside during a gathering to call the reopening of places of worship during lockdown

In Nantes, a Catholic priest listened to the confession of a believer outside during a gathering to call the reopening of places of worship during lockdown

Catholic faithfuls gathered to take part in a rally demanding the return of religious services in Versailles, outside of Paris

Catholic faithfuls gathered to take part in a rally demanding the return of religious services in Versailles, outside of Paris

Large crowds soon formed in Versailles, outside Paris, as people peacefully demanded the return of religious services, including mass

Large crowds soon formed in Versailles, outside Paris, as people peacefully demanded the return of religious services, including mass

People of all ages, wearing masks, took to the streets of France to campaign for religious services to continue during the second lockdown. Pictured: Demonstrators in Versailles, outside Paris

People of all ages, wearing masks, took to the streets of France to campaign for religious services to continue during the second lockdown. Pictured: Demonstrators in Versailles, outside Paris

Demonstrators are calling for the authorities to relax coronavirus lockdown measures to allow religious services to continue. 

In the western city of Nantes, hundreds gathered in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary, some kneeling on the rain-soaked pavement, according to local broadcaster France Bleu. 

Similar gatherings were reported or planned in the eastern city of Strasbourg, in Bordeaux in the southwest, and outside the Saint-Louis Cathedral in Versailles.

Catholic protesters held scattered demonstrations around France today, holding banners reading 'Let us Pray' and 'We Want Mass'. Pictured: Protester in Versailles holds a sign stating 'We Want Mass'

Catholic protesters held scattered demonstrations around France today, holding banners reading ‘Let us Pray’ and ‘We Want Mass’. Pictured: Protester in Versailles holds a sign stating ‘We Want Mass’

Large crowds gathered across the country, including Versailles (pictured), hoping to encourage the government to amend the latest restrictions which have put a stop to religious services

Large crowds gathered across the country, including Versailles (pictured), hoping to encourage the government to amend the latest restrictions which have put a stop to religious services

In the western city of Nantes, hundreds gathered in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary, some kneeling on the rain-soaked pavement, according to local broadcaster France Bleu. Pictured: Protesters in Versailles, with one holding a placard saying 'we want mass'

In the western city of Nantes, hundreds gathered in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary, some kneeling on the rain-soaked pavement, according to local broadcaster France Bleu. Pictured: Protesters in Versailles, with one holding a placard saying ‘we want mass’

With more confirmed virus cases than any other European country, predominantly Catholic France banned mass and other religious services for the month of November as part of nationwide partial lockdown measures. 

The new restrictions are aimed at reining in infections and relieving pressure on hospitals. Churches and other religious sites remain open for individual visitors to come and pray.

France’s interior minister is scheduled to meet with religious leaders Monday to discuss when and how services could again be permitted, notably amid pressure to allow Christmas ceremonies. 

With more confirmed virus cases than any other European country, predominantly Catholic France banned mass and other religious services for the month of November as part of nationwide partial lockdown measures. Pictured: Protester in Versailles holds sign saying 'Let us unlock souls'

With more confirmed virus cases than any other European country, predominantly Catholic France banned mass and other religious services for the month of November as part of nationwide partial lockdown measures. Pictured: Protester in Versailles holds sign saying ‘Let us unlock souls’

The new restrictions are aimed at reining in infections and relieving pressure on hospitals. Churches and other religious sites remain open for individual visitors to come and pray. Pictured: A female protester in Versailles, France

The new restrictions are aimed at reining in infections and relieving pressure on hospitals. Churches and other religious sites remain open for individual visitors to come and pray. Pictured: A female protester in Versailles, France

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