2021-10-15 16:47:45 Protests Over Italy’s Covid ‘Green Pass’ Draw Only Scattered Crowds
Protests Over Italy’s Covid ‘Green Pass’ Draw Only Scattered Crowds
Anti-vaccine activists and opponents of the measure plotted major protests and “war” on chat groups in the days leading up to the implementation of a mandatory health pass for Italian workers on Friday.
However, as of late Friday afternoon, opponents of the Green Pass, as the health pass is known, were struggling to raise an army.
A week after over 10,000 vaccine skeptics and other Green Pass opponents staged a demonstration in Rome that was infiltrated and turned violent by hard-right extremists, opponents of the Green Pass held sparsely attended and scattered protests across the country’s major cities. Strikes in its ports appeared to be underwhelming as well.
The ancient chariot-racing track in Rome’s Circus Maximus, which is often used for major rallies, dwarfed the couple of hundred protesters who waved banners reading “Liberty” and “The Green Pass Is Just the Beginning” on one end of the field. Almost no one in attendance was wearing a mask.
“This is a fascist government’s measure,” said Stefano Fuccelli, 58, who has refused to be vaccinated because he “does not want to be a lab rat.” He compared paying for coronavirus tests in order to go to work to state extortion.
Others discussed what they claimed were better alternatives to vaccines, such as cortisone treatments, and spread false claims, such as that inoculations in Turkey had resulted in the birth of babies with tails and extra limbs.
In Florence, reporters and law enforcement officers outnumbered protesters, some of whom beat bongo drums and devised inventive ways to circumvent the Green Pass.
Instead of getting vaccinated, David De Mommio, a 41-year-old furrier from nearby Prato, said he would take a swab test every two days to go to work.
“I won’t work on Fridays to take fewer tests,” he said, adding, “Is it fair to earn less?” He didn’t believe it was. “It irritates me that we have to go through this. It’s a question of principle.”
Stefania Vangi, a 51-year-old who cleans disabled people’s homes near Florence, agreed. “I simply do not want to be vaccinated, and I will not,” she explained. “I think I should still be able to work.” It’s a basic human right.”
On Friday morning in Milan, students and anti-Green Pass protesters marched peacefully in separate demonstrations before congregating for a sit-in near a 19th-century arch. Several people were waving Italian flags.
Hundreds of people gathered in Turin’s central Piazza Castello for a protest organized by the “Front of Dissent” committee.
In Udine, about 1,600 demonstrators chanted “No Green Pass!” in front of a fire station before marching through the streets with posters that read, “Vaccinated and unvaccinated together for freedom.”