women walking as woman yells attenzione pickpocket (l) man with caption 'POV: you just found out the truth about 'ATTENZIONE PICKPOCKET' lady and now you feel weird about it' (c) women walking as woman yells attenzione pickpocket (r)

@cittadininondistratti3/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Attenzione pickpocket’ woman linked to right-wing group



Sayou Cooper

Internet Culture

There’s a follow-up to the “Attenzione pickpocket” lady from TikTok, and it’s a bit alarming. The viral sensation Monica Poli, who gained popularity through her TikTok account for alerting tourists to suspected pickpocketing, has been linked to an Italian far-right movement.

@florida.florian Please DO NOT support her #romani #attenzionepickpocket #poc #brown #racialprofiling #romatiktok #rromani #browntiktok #italy #attenzione #gypsyisaslur #learnontiktok #vigilante ♬ original sound – user2117519005342

“Please do not support her,” TikToker @florida.florian captioned this post, alerting their followers to the possible deceptiveness of Poli’s popularity. Popularity that she gained from shouting “attenzione pickpocket” at suspected thieves in Venice, Italy tourist areas. The interactions were recorded and posted to TikTok where the sound became viral. The TikToker and Romani activist shared details of Poli’s political background that many would not know until recently.

Monica Poli is a member of Cittadini Non Distratti, which translates to “undistracted citizens” in English. For years, the group has been a vigilante for Venice pickpocketing as noted in a Slate article. Additionally, Poli is a councillor for Lega Nord or “Northern League” in English. It’s a conservative party with anti-immigration sentiment, Islamophobia rhetoric, and specifically anti-Romani sentiment.

“I’m not shocked at all because it makes so much sense,” a comment reads in @freddiesroommate‘s video on the matter, which has more than 1.1 million views.

@freddiesroommate Welp. #attenzionepickpocket #pickpocket ♬ Pink (Bad Day) [From Barbie The Album] – Lizzo

Red flags were raised in the New York Times profile of Monica Poli. When questioned on how she knew someone was pickpocketing, she remarked, “When I see them, I know they are pickpockets. It is so strange to say—I have something inside me and I recognize it immediately.”

For more on Monica Poli and the ‘Attenzione Pickpocket’ trend, watch our video below and subscribe on YouTube for new episodes weekly:

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