Protestors take to the streets of Italy in anti-fascist rally

Left-wing protestors take to the streets of Italy in anti-fascist rally after far-right mob tried to storm Parliament in anger at new Covid pass

  • Former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema took part in the demonstration on St John Lateran Square 
  • Protestors held signs reading ‘si vax’ and released balloons in the square while others lit flares 
  • Demonstrations against the Green Pass turned violent on Saturday as neo-fascists stormed a union building 

Anti-fascist demonstrators today marched in Rome after last week’s protest against the Italian Green Pass was hijacked by members of an extreme right party who tried to force their way into Parliament.

Left-wing former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema and populist Five Star Movement leader Giuseppe Conte took part in the demonstration on St John Lateran Square this afternoon.

Protestors held signs reading ‘si vax’ and released balloons in the square while anti-fascists demonstrators lit flares during the event organised by Italy’s main labour unions.

Organisers put the crowd assembled in front of St John Lateran basilica for the protest at 100,000-strong. 

The head of the CGIL union confederation, Maurizio Landini, led the protest with other labour leaders under the slogan: ‘Never again fascism.’

Last week neo-fascist used the protests against the new Government rule to trash the left-leaning Italian General Confederation of Labour’s — which supports the rule to force all workers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to get into their office — headquarters.

Demonstrators take part in a march organised by Italy’s main labor unions in Rome’s St John Lateran Square today

A man holds up a banner reading in Italian ‘Yes vax’ as he takes part in a march organised after neo-fascists trashed left-leaning Italian General Confederation of Labour’s headquarters

Protestors lit flares and held their fists in the air during the event in Rome organised by Italy’s main labour unions today

Anti-fascist demonstrators march through Rome today holding Antifa banners and flags and shouting slogans through megaphones

Former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema took part in the demonstration on St John Lateran Square this afternoon

President of the Five Star Movement (M5S), former Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte (right) attends an anti-fascist rally called by Italian Labour unions CGIL, CISL and UIL at Piazza San Giovanni in Rome

Some 10,000 opponents of that government decree turned out in Rome’s vast Piazza del Popolo last Saturday in a protest that degenerated into alarming violence.

And hundreds armed with bats and metal bars smashed union computers and ripped out phone lines after breaking in through a window.

CGIL leader Maurizio Landini compared the break-in to attacks a century ago by Benito Mussolini’s newly minted Fascists against labor organisers.

Italy has required it to access all sorts of indoor activities for weeks, including dining, visiting museums and theatres, and on long-distance trains.

Left-leaning Italian General Confederation of Labour trade union members and other proestors holding LGBTQ+ rainbow flags protest

Last week neo-fascist used the protests against the new Government rule to trash the left-leaning Italian General Confederation of Labour’s — which supports the rule to force all workers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to get into their office — headquarters

But the addition of the workplace requirement has sparked heated debate and opposition in the former epicentre of the outbreak, where vaccination rates are among the highest in Europe and where even the latest Delta variant-fuelled resurgence has been kept largely under control. 

The rule came into force yesterday, with thousands protesting across the country since last weekend. 

Workers blocked ports as they refused to follow the new rules which require them to show proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or of having recovered from Covid in the past six months. 

Implementation of the new requirement varies.

Electronic scanners that can read mobile phone QR codes with the Green Pass were set up at bigger places of employment, such as the office of Italian Premier Mario Draghi and the headquarters of state railway company Trenitalia.

The march was called a week after protesters, armed with sticks and metal bars, smashed their way into the headquarters of CGIL, a left-leaning union, and trashed its office

Organisers put the crowd assembled in front of St John Lateran basilica for the protest at 100,000-strong

But at smaller places of work, from restaurants to tennis clubs, employers and managers had to download an app that can scan the codes.

While it was unclear how strictly Italy would enforce the requirement, the fear of spot checks drove employers to comply, at least initially.

Sanctions for employers who fail to check employees range from 400 to 1,000 euros – up to £840. 

A worker who fails to show a Green Pass at work is considered to be absent without justification. If the worker shows up anyway without a valid Green Pass, he or she could face fines from 600 euros to 1,500 euros.

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