italy vaccine pass

Thousands of people marched against a mandatory COVID certification on Saturday in Rome
Protesters had violently clashed with police during the rallies against a government rule requiring COVID-19 vaccines or negative tests to access workplaces.

Comment: The original title of this article was: Italy: Police arrest far-right leaders after anti-vaccine riots', but, as evidenced by just the first line, this wasn't about being 'anti-vaccine', this was against the rule mandating coronavirus vaccines in the workplace. And, as has been the case in protests elsewhere across Europe, it's highly likely that some in attendance will have already been vaccinated. What they are protesting is the enforcement of 'certificates' that threaten to split society, that will cause those who do not have them to be barred from employment that could, ultimately, leave them destitute.

Thousands of people marched against a mandatory COVID certification on Saturday in Rome

Rome police on Sunday said they arrested 12 people after protests against Italy's COVID "green pass" turned into serious riots.

Two leaders of the extreme far-right party Forza Nuova, Giuliano Castellino and Roberto Fiore, were present during Saturday's violent protests. They were among the 12 arrested, police said.

Protests turned into riots

Thousands of people marched down the streets of Rome on Saturday to protest against Italy's new COVID "green pass" vaccination requirement for employees.

The protests grew increasingly violent during the day, with police swinging batons at demonstrators or using water cannons and pepper sprays to push back the crowd.

Comment: The police aggression may have had something to do with any clashes that followed.

For an idea of some of the happenings that day, the following footage was posted on Twitter:

More than 10,000 people took to the streets of the Italian capital, according to local media outlets. Several groups of people tried breaking barricades and police lines at different places.

italy vaccine mandate protest

Protesters attack a police van in Rome
Protesters attack a police van in Rome

One group of protesters attempted to push their way past police lines to reach Prime Minister Mario Draghi's office.

A separate group stormed the headquarters of the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), one of Italy's oldest and biggest trade unions.

Some four people were arrested during the early hours of the day, according to the Italian ANSA news agency.

Protesters were also seen throwing chairs and chanting slogans like "freedom, freedom." They believe the measures are coercing people into get vaccinated.

Comment: These mandates are the very definition of coercion. We also have Israel's PM on record admitting as much.

Their cause has been backed by far-right, neo-fascist groups, whom local politicians accused of orchestrating Saturday's violence.

Comment: Judging by the videos above, there doesn't appear to be any 'orchestration' to what happened, nor has any solid evidence that 'neo-fascist' groups had anything to do with the majority of the 10,000+ people who attended. However, this is becoming a common tactic by governments, to try to smear these protests by associating them with extremist groups: 'They are children of the same foul spirit': George W. Bush compares 9/11 terrorists to 'domestic extremist' threat at home

italy vaccine mandate protest

Thousands of people joined protests through the day
Draghi slams 'aggression and intimidation'

The prime minister condemned the violence, saying trade unions ensured workers' rights and that people would be punished if they attempted to intimidate trade union members.

"The right to demonstrate to support one's ideas can never degenerate into acts of aggression and intimidation," Draghi said in a statement issued by his office.

Comment: This is what the protesters had to say to Draghi:

Maurizio Landini, the CGIL secretary-general, said the attack was an "act of fascist thuggery, an attack on democracy and on the world of work."

"No one should think that they can return our country to its fascist past," Landini added.

Comment: An Australian construction worker trade union also tried to label the workers protesting the mandates as "extremist", which the workers didn't take too kindly too. Although, at least this revealed which side the union bosses were really on.

What is Italy's 'green pass'?

The 'green pass' is a certification that will be required by every employee, both in private companies or in the public sector, from October 15.

People must show they have received at one dose of vaccination against COVID-19, have recovered from the disease or tested negative.

Italians can visit any public place if they have the certificate. The country also allows the reopening of cinemas, theaters, and discos to full capacity starting Monday.

What is the COVID situation in Italy?

The Italian Health Ministry reported 46 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, up from 30 during the prior period. The daily tally of new COVID cases fell flighty to 2,748 from 3,023.

Italy has registered 131,274 deaths linked to COVID since the outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe, after the UK, and the ninth-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.7 million cases to date.