Mafia starts anti-lockdown protest and accelerates violence in Italy
The Italian mafia is doing everything in their power to prevent the pandemic from affecting their profits, and this was demonstrated on Friday.
According to Italian officials, the mafia organized protests in Naples that quickly turned into violence and attacks on police. Protests have spread in the past five days with bar, restaurant, and club owners showing their concerns that the government’s restrictions will lead to the downfall of their businesses.
The economic chaos has created many opportunities for cosa nostra to infiltrate COVID-19 affected businesses, but government enforced lockdown and curfew restrictions will be putting a squeeze on the Camorra‘s drug revenue. Giuseppe Antoci, president of the Fondazione Caponnetto, a mafia research center, said that mob families oppose curfews and lockdowns because increased police checks and closures affect their ability to demand extortion payments leading to reduced drug sales revenues. Due to the closure of nightlife businesses, the Camorra mafia is estimated to lose as much as 60% of drug revenue.
Present at the Naples protest on Friday were four well-known Camorra members who were orchestrating violence. Demonstrators were seen attacking police vehicles with clubs and throwing rocks at law enforcement.
“The violence was of a level of intensity that is not the behavior of restaurant owners nor business nor workers,” said chief anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho. “What happened represents a real, tangible attack on the state.” The protest was reportedly planned on social media for a week.
The mafia families have been using protests to create the idea that the government isn’t there to support the people, but the mafia is. Thus, the mafia expands their allies.
Senator Nicola Morra, the head of the anti-mafia commission in parliament said, “Where there is social deprivation supporting discontent is a way of building a myth, the myth of the good Camorra mafioso that protects and cares for you. In the south you still hear it said, unfortunately, that … the mafia is a good thing”.