Scuffles broke out in the Italian parliament on Thursday as members of the national conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) protested the passing of the coronavirus “health pass”.
Members of the FdI, led by firebrand Giorgia Meloni, held a protest in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian parliament, against the so-called “Green Pass”.
The Green Pass will be required to enter some indoor settings in Italy, including restaurants, gyms, and cinemas, and demonstrates proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result.
The FdI deputies left their seats and held up signs saying “No Green Pass” in the middle of the chamber, leading to the President of the Chamber, Fabio Rampelli, suspending parliamentary work for several minutes, newspaper Il Giornale reports.
Video footage of the protest was also spread on social media, showing a brief scuffle as members of the party took to the floor of the chamber.
— Gilbert Collard (@GilbertCollard) July 29, 2021
Forza Italia, a centre-right ally of the more populist FdI and Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) party, defended the Green Pass, with MP Andrea Mandelli claiming: “In this decree, no vaccination obligation is established and there are no limitations on personal freedoms. On the contrary, the Green Pass is a tool to move freely and safely.”
Populist senator Matteo Salvini has expressed concern about the Green Pass, saying that it was unfair as many would have to wait for vaccination, and younger people did not need to be urgently vaccinated.
“If we want the Green Pass for everyone, at the moment, it would take until the end of October, blowing up the [summer] season and the holidays. That would be devastating. And useless,” he said.
The FdI protest came after 1,500 people gathered to protest the Green Pass in Rome on Wednesday evening at the Piazza del Popolo.
Another protest against the Green Pass took place in the city of Pesaro that same evening, outside of the home of the city’s leftist mayor Matteo Ricci.
Ricci criticised the protesters, accusing them of being “squadristi”, the official name of the paramilitary fascist blackshirts who supported dictator Benito Mussolini.
“No-vax demonstration outside my house. Beyond belief. And I’m not even at home, with family and children incredulous and frightened. You are squadristi. Shame on you. Freedom? You don’t even know what it is. Getting vaccinated is a civic and moral duty,” he declared.
The populist Italian senator stated that it was important that those over the age of 60 get the jab and those 40 to 59 could choose to have it, but under-40s were of less urgent concern for vaccination. https://t.co/brD4BnS4ar
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