Green Pass demonstration in Milan 16 October 2021. ANSA/MATTEO CORNER

Protests against Green Pass in Milan and Trieste; Trade Unions hold Rome rally

Coronavirus News

10,000 people took to the streets of Milan on Saturday night to protest against the Green Pass. Trieste port workers continued their sit-in on Saturday, while unions in Rome protested against neo-fascist groups.

The protest in Milan was peaceful until late evening when some protestors and police clashed. 16 people were detained according to media reports.

Trade Unions a focus for protestors

A police cordon prevented demonstrators from marching to the Milan headquarters of the CGIL trade union. It was the same union’s building that protestors stormed during a No Green Pass demonstration last week.  

That attack in Rome led to the arrests of leaders of Forza Nuova, an extreme right-wing group. In response, CGIL held a rally against neo-fascists in the capital yesterday. The organisation claims 200,000 people attended; police estimates put the figure at around 60,000.

Rome rally

Prominent leftist politicians attended the rally, organised by Italy’s three main trade unions. CGIL leader Maurizio Landini called for the dissolution of all neo-fascist political groups.

The Rome demonstration ended with the crowd singing Bella Ciao. This was the anthem of the anti-fascist resistance for the Italian partisans in the 30s and 40s.

On Friday, another ‘No Green Pass’ demonstration took plac in Rome’s Circus Maximus. However, few attended and it passed off without any of the trouble witnessed the previous week. Some demonstrators handed flowers to the police.  

Port workers continue sit-in at Trieste

Trieste port workers continue their sit-in against the Green Pass on Sunday. The workers vow to block ‘all of Italy’ on 30th October if the Italian government does not withdraw the health certificate obligation for workers, ANSA reports.

The dockers have been joined by thousands of supporters over the last two days. They say they will take their appeal to Rome on 30th October.

Last night the Trieste port president Zeno D’Agostino said: “Enough of this circus”. He warned, “This situation can no longer be tolerated, I need a port that works.”

Why the protests?

From Friday 15th October, every worker in Italy must have a Green Pass in order to work. If they do not have one, they cannot enter the workplace. They will be suspended without pay after 5 days, though they cannot be sacked. This applies to both the public and private sectors.

A Green Pass requires the holder to either be fully vaccinated, have a negative test result within the past 48 hours, or to have recently recovered from the virus. Therefore, unvaccinated employees can still enter the workplace. However, the fixed cost of a test at €15 every two days is prohibitive for many.  

Fines of up to €1,500 are payable for those found to continue working without the Green Pass.

When the new rules came into force on Friday, authorities issued a record 867,039 health certificates, ANSA reports.

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