Thousands of people spent the weekend in Italy protesting against one of the strictest COVID vaccine mandates in the world.
Twelve people were arrested when the protests turned violent in Central Rome. Police used water cannons, tear gas, and batons against the protestors after they started marching toward the prime minister’s office. Some protesters stormed the headquarters of CGIL, Italy’s oldest and biggest labor union, and used sticks and metal bars to trash the offices. Other protestors raised their clenched fists or waved Italian flags nonviolently while chanting “Freedom!”
Two of the protestors that were arrested, Giuliano Castellino and Roberto Fiore, were both identified as leaders of the extreme far-right party, Forza Nuova.
“The popular revolution will not stop, with or without us, until the Green Pass is definitively withdrawn,” the Forza Nuova said in a statement. “Saturday was a watershed between the old and new. The people decided to raise the level of the clash.”
A new mandate that will require Italians to show a coronavirus “Green Pass” is scheduled to go into effect on Friday. The pass was created to ease travel among European Union states and will be presented in the form of a digital or paper certificate showing that someone has received at least one vaccine dose, has tested negative or recently recovered from the virus.
The mandate applies to public and private workplaces, and employees and employers risk fines if they don’t comply. The pass has been required in Italy since August for people who want to visit museums, theaters, gyms, indoor restaurants, or to take long-distance trains, buses or domestic flights.
NYC, NYCTastemakers, italy, covid, protests, pandemic, greenpass,