The social order in Italy appears to be cracking amid reports of looting, planned supermarket raids, and threats of 'revolution' from locals.
The southern European nation has been struggling through one of the world's worst coronavirus outbreaks, as well as a draconian lockdown which is pushing many to the brink.
Most Italians have been confined to their homes for three weeks, with many unable to work or generate income as the government announced stay-at-home orders will last until at least Easter.
A group of roughly 20 people filled their shopping carts at a Lidl supermarket in Palermo, Sicily, and left without paying on Thursday, according to Archyde.
"Enough of being at home. We don’t have money to pay. We have to eat," members of the group reportedly shouted.
Some supermarkets are now being guarded by armed police.
#UPDATE 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 https://t.co/j1AuMbr9aD #Palermo pic.twitter.com/25VYvxF59Z— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 29, 2020
Groups are also organizing on social media, reportedly planning to riot and raid stores in the coming days, while vowing to "Take back what is taken from us."
In a viral video directed at Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a father sitting next to his young daughter vows "revolution" if citizens are unable to feed their families.
"It's already been 10 - 15 days that we've been inside and we're at our limit," the man 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 are going to have a revolution."
Another viral video reportedly shows a desperate man and his mother shouting at police officers after discovering they cannot access her pension - the family's only source of income - due to bank closure.
A ferry company responsible for bringing vital food and supplies to Sicily has gone out of business, compounding issues for the island.
“We need to act fast - more than fast,” warns Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando. “Distress could turn into violence.”
"Discomfort and malaise are growing and we are recording worrying reports of protest and anger that is being exploited by criminals who want to destabilize the system," Orlando said. "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 has over 101,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 11,591 related deaths at the time of this writing.
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(PHOTO: Igor Petyx/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst