ROME — Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Milan, Trieste, Padua, and other Italian cities Saturday night to protest the obligation of a coronavirus “Green Pass” to enter restaurants, gyms, and places of work.
Italy made the Green Pass mandatory for all workers on October 15, requiring a document that certifies a coronavirus vaccination, a negative test, or recovery from the virus.
Protests grew violent in Trieste Saturday with demonstrators throwing chairs and tables, drawing a forceful response from riot police, who struck protesters with steel batons as they tried to enter a cordoned-off Piazza Unità. Ten protesters were arrested.
Police headquarters reported some 8,000 people involved in the demonstrations, the second largest protest in the city in the last ten years.
Meanwhile, around 4,000 No Green Pass protesters marched in Milan Saturday, the sixteenth such demonstration in the northern city. Some carried a cardboard coffin draped with the Italian flag and adorned with carnations to mark the “funeral of freedom.”
In Padua, another 3,000 protesters turned out for a march through the historic city center, shouting insults at police and journalists.
Protesters, many of whom are out of work because of the Green Pass mandate, also shouted “No fear of the dictatorship” and “Journalists are terrorists” in a demonstration in the city of Turin.
In order to enter their place of employment, workers must show their Green Pass and every day they miss is counted as an “unjustified” absence. After five such absences, employees are suspended and have their pay frozen.
Those who show up to work without the Green Pass risk fines of between €600 and €1,500.
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