Italy – The protest movement against a new law, in force since 15 October, requiring all employees to present their Covid green pass in order to be able to go to their workplace is not weakening – quite the reverse. The new measure excludes unvaccinated people from the workplace, depriving them of income, unless they pay for a Covid test every two days. It is clearly a way of introducing a vaccination mandate for all adults, while pretending otherwise. The city of Trieste, an important port in the north-east of the country (it used to be the main port of Austria-Hungary), has been the scene of serious clashes between police and demonstrators.
Demonstrations throughout Italy
With this new quasi-compulsory vaccination and the tracing of citizens that it implies, the new green pass requirement, now in force for all workers in both the public and private sectors, has stirred protest in many Italian cities. Many politicians from all sides have joined these demonstrations, where slogans such as “Assassins!”, “State Terrorism!”, and “Liberty!” can be heard.
Clashes between police and demonstrators in Trieste
In Trieste, where demonstrators had been blocking the port for several days, riot police intervened in a rather heavy-handed manner on Monday, 18 October, leading to violent clashes with protesters. The President of the Port of Trieste, Zeno D’Agostino, condemned the blocking of the port, saying that this “can no longer be tolerated” as the region needs “a functioning port”, whilst 40% of the dockers have not been vaccinated and an anti-vaccine party (Movimento 3 V) obtained 4.51% and one seat in the municipal elections of 3 and 4 October. While similar actions have taken place in Genoa, campaigners have called for a national day of protests to blockade all of Italy on Saturday, 30 October.
Nearby Austria is also about to introduce Covid passports at work
In the meantime, the Italian-style green pass is starting to spread across Europe. Austria, where only the national conservatives of the FPÖ and the liberals of the NeOs party are opposed to the move, is also about to introduce the Covid passport (called 3G) at work, with the SPÖ social democrats only pushing for continued free testing. A new political party (MFG) defending individual freedoms in the face of anti-Covid health measures obtained 6.23% and three seats in the Upper Austrian regional elections on 26 September.