Rome protest over Italy's covid Green Pass turns violent

Protesters smash their way into seat of Italy’s largest trade union.

A protest against Italy’s ‘Green Pass’ turned violent in the centre of Rome on Saturday evening, with police responding to clashes with tear gas and water cannon.

Among the estimated 10,000 people at the rally in Piazza del Popolo were far-right activists including the neo-fascist Forza Nuova group and its leader Giuliano Castellino who addressed the crowd.

The demonstration was organised in protest over an imminent requirement for workers in Italy to have the Green Pass certificate which shows that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.

From 15 October Italy will require all workers - in both the public and private sectors - to present a Green Pass in the workplace or face suspension without pay.

Hundreds of protesters headed in the direction of Palazzo Chigi and were met on the way with tear gas and water cannon, while others broke into and occupied the headquarters of CGIL, Italy’s largest trade union.

The violence has been condemned as "unacceptable" by health minister Roberto Speranza, while foreign minister Luigi Di Maio wrote on Facebook: "These are not protesters, they are criminals."

Photo ANSA