Italy Green Pass protesters vow to block trains

Italian transport unions seek safety plan for employees and commuters ahead of planned No Green Pass protests. 

Italian trade unions representing transport workers have called for the 'No Green Pass' protests planned in train stations across Italy on Wednesday 1 September to be dropped.

The demonstrations, scheduled in 54 major train stations, are against new rules relating to the Green Pass certificate which shows that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.

The protests have been planned for the first day that the Green Pass will be required to board Intercity and high-speed trains, as well as domestic flights, long-distance buses and inter-regional ferries.

The CGIL, CISL and UIL trade unions issued a joint statement on Tuesday calling on protesters to "rethink" their planned actions, stressing that: "Transport is an essential service, whoever interrupts it will not have our support."

Pledging their support for Italy's covid vaccination campaign, the unions say there are "clear risks connected" to the protests and have called for a "safety plan to protect employees and commuters."

Among those involved in organising the protests on social media is the neo-fascist Forza Nuova group whose leader Giuliano Castellino told Adnkronos news agency: "We will be in all stations to block departing trains" on 1 September.

"Either everyone leaves or no one leaves" - said Castellino - "In a system that calls itself democratic, it is unacceptable that a citizen cannot get on a train because they don't have a Green Pass."

The Telegram chat behind the protests, titled 'Basta dittatura' (Enough dictatorship), states: "They won't let us leave by train without a slavery passport? Then no one will leave."

The planned demonstrations come amid rising tension in Italy over Green Pass obligations, with cases of journalists being attacked and the well-known virologist Matteo Bassetti receiving a police escort to and from his workplace at S. Martino hospital in Genova.

Death threats against Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio were posted in Telegram chat rooms on Tuesday, reports news agency ANSA, with comments including "You must die" and "Another rat to be executed."

The interior ministry has stated that it "will always ensure the freedom to demonstrate peacefully in compliance with the rules" but warns that "acts of violence and threats will not be allowed."

Details about the Green Pass can be found - in Italian - on the Certificazione Verde website while for official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website.

Photo credit: VILTVART / Shutterstock.com.