Italy: Covid-19 deniers to march in Rome

Lazio Region leader condemns planned march as "irresponsible madness".

Two thousand people are expected to attend a rally in Rome against Italy's covid-19 regulations, in particular the protocols introduced by the health and education ministries, on Saturday 5 September, reports Italian news agency Adnkronos.

Organisers of the demonstration, which include the extreme-right political party Forza Nuova (FN), anti-vaccine activists, and the Popolo delle Mamme movement, say they are protesting to "save children from the health dictatorship" as well as "freeing Italy" from the regulations surrounding the "supposed covid-19 pandemic."

The event will be attended by Vittorio Sgarbi, the outspoken politician and mayor of Sutri who recently announced fines for those who wear masks "without necessity" in the north Lazio town, reports news agency Dire.

The rally, many of whose participants are unlikely to wear masks, has been condemned by Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) and governor of Italy's central Lazio region which includes Rome.

Zingaretti has slammed the "irresponsibility and madness" of the "covid deniers" who "offend the dead above all" as well offending the healthcare workers "who in recent months have done everything to help Italy to get back on its feet."

"We must oppose the deniers" - Zingaretti said - "We will get through this, we will get back to our lives again but we need to fight together."

Saturday's demonstration is scheduled at 16.00 in Piazza Bocca della Verità, near the Circus Maximus, according to posters plastered around the city.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi has also condemned the "irresponsible" protestors and "neo-fascists who stir up hate," tweeting: "Denying the spread of the coronavirus is an insult to thousands of victims and those who fought on the front lines in hospitals."

Photo Dire