Intense protests persisted over the weekend in Europe as thousands took to Italy’s capital on Saturday to oppose the government’s vaccine credentialing system known as the “Green Pass” which applies to most Italian workers. The vaccine passport was approved on Sept. 16 to go into effect next week on Oct. 15, affecting over 23 million workers within the country.
The massive crowd of demonstrators united in Rome to march down main streets holding a multitude of banners with slogans opposing the Green Pass. Many waved the Italian flag, as well.
Protestors are concerned the Green Pass would deprive them of their fundamental human rights, civil liberties, and freedoms.
A national Green Pass would prevent Italians from visiting most public spaces, restaurants, gyms, and leisure activities without one. The system makes it virtually impossible for unvaccinated individuals to enter any establishment or travel within and abroad the confinements of the country without the pass.
Italians that refuse to show the vaccine passport, a negative COVID test, or proof of recovery face serious restrictions such as suspension without pay or significant fines.
The requirement is considered by critics to be one of the strictest pandemic measures in the world. One protestor was photographed holding a sign that, translated from Italian to English reads, “Hands off our work! No Green Pass! No blackmail!“
The vaccine passports required in some of the most populous European countries triggered a series of protests across the continent last summer and continue today. Aside from Italy, widespread anti-vaccine mandate protests have also occurred in France, Ireland, and Greece.