Covid-19: Thousands of people protested in Rome and Geneva against pandemic restrictions

Left-wing Italian deputies and politicians called this Sunday for measures to be imposed to ban pro-fascism groups, a day after anti-vaccine protesters, spurred on by far-right leaders, stormed the headquarters of Italy’s largest trade union in Rome.

Twelve protesters were arrested, Italian police announced, including Giuliano Castellino, leader of the far-right Forza Nuova party.

Around 10,000 people demonstrated on Saturday to express their outrage at the government’s demand that any worker be required to have a “green pass” to enter their workplace from next Friday.

The passes certify that a person has received at least one dose of an anti-covid-19 vaccine, has recently recovered from the virus, or has been negatively tested within 48 hours.

Giuliano Castellino was reportedly one of the members of Forza Nuova who urged supporters to storm the national headquarters of the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), the largest Italian union. Unions in Italy supported the Green Passes.

Dozens of protesters used sticks, metal bars and rolled-up Italian flags, with which they forced their way in and destroyed the interior of the space.

Hundreds of protesters later clashed with police as they tried to reach the square outside the Chigi Palace, the prime minister’s official residence, near the Italian Parliament.

After breaking into the headquarters of the CGIL, the demonstrators headed to Via Veneto in Rome, an avenue where the US embassy in Italy is located.

Among the voices calling for the outlawing of pro-fascism groups is that of Giuseppe Conte, former Italian prime minister and leader of the 5-Star populist movement, who today demonstrated with supporters in front of the CGIL headquarters.

A Democratic Party deputy, Emanuele Fiano, announced today that he will present a motion in Parliament on Monday calling on Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government to outlaw by decree Forza Nuova and similar movements.

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