ROME (AP) – An ultra-right party’s violent outburst of anger over Italy’s coronavirus restrictions is forcing officials to wrestle with the country’s fascist legacy and fueling fears it will force its way into parliament Could be a repeat of last week’s rush trying to.
Starting Friday, anyone entering workplaces in Italy using the country’s Green Pass to prove their status, must have received at least one vaccine dose, or have recently recovered from COVID-19 or will be tested negative within two days. Italians already use the pass to enter restaurants, theatres, gyms and other indoor entertainment, or for long-distance buses, trains or domestic flights.
But 10,000 opponents of that government decree staged a protest in Rome’s sprawling Piazza del Popolo last Saturday, which escalated into dangerous violence.
This extreme right overlaps and is raising concerns against Italy’s vaccine mandate, even though opponents of vaccines are still a distinct minority in a country where 80% of people 12 years of age and older are completely protected. Vaccinated from.
In a rally inspired by the political extreme right, thousands marched from the Italian capital on Saturday and hundreds made their way through the headquarters of the left-leaning CGIL labor union. The police thwarted his repeated attempts to reach the office of the Prime Minister of Italy and the seat of parliament.
Protesters smashed union computers, broke phone lines and vandalized offices, when first trying to use metal bars to break through the CGIL’s front door, then breaking through a window . Unions have supported Green Pass to make Italy’s workplaces safer.
Hours after the CGIL attack, anti-vaccine protesters also attacked an emergency room at the hospital where one protester was left feeling ill, scaring patients and injuring two nurses and three police officers.
CGIL leader Maurizio Landini drew a parallel to attacks against labor organizers by the newly formed fascists of Benito Mussolini a century earlier as he tightened his dictatorial grip on Italy.
For some watching the violence unfold, the attack also evoked images of a January 6 attack by an angry crowd at the US Capitol as part of a protest over President Donald Trump’s failed re-election bid.
Premier Mario Draghi told reporters that his government was “reflecting” on parliamentary motions supported by leftist, populist and centrist parties this week, urging the government to oust the extreme-right party Forza Nuova, whose leaders encouraged the attack on the union office.
The co-founder of Forza Nuova (New Force) and its Rome leader are among a dozen people arrested in Saturday’s violence. Also jailed is a founder of the extreme-right extremist group Armed Revolutionary Nucleus, which terrorized Italy in the 1980s, and a northern Italian restaurateur who defied a national lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic .
On Monday, at the behest of Rome’s prosecutors, Italy’s Telecom Police Force took down the website of Forza Nuova for alleged criminal provocation.
There will be two more marches in Rome this Saturday: one by opponents of the Green Pass and another to show solidarity for CGIL and to provide what Landini described as an “antidote to violence”.
Rome will also hold a runaway mayoral election on Sunday between a centre-left candidate and a right-wing candidate chosen by the leader of a rapidly growing national opposition party with neo-fascist roots.
In the first round of municipal voting in Rome, the dictator’s granddaughter, Rachel Mussolini, won the most votes for the council position.
Meloni has long defied demands from opponents that she explicitly condemn the legacy of Mussolini’s fascist regime.
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Meloni distanced his party from Forza Nuova, criticizing the Green Pass workplace rule.
“We are light years away from any subversive movement, especially Forza Nuova,” she said. She then accused Draghi’s broad coalition, which gathered earlier this year to lead the country through the pandemic, of “pretending that the people in the street on Saturday were not passing the government (Green) and their We’re demonstrating their disagreement about not recognizing the right. To work.”
Meloni “lives on obscurity, he has one foot in the legacy of fascism,” said Antonio Parisella, a retired professor of contemporary Italian history.
Pericella, who directed Rome’s Liberation Museum, said, “Mussolini did good things,” such as the common “myth” that he ran trains on time and eradicated malaria, an idea prevalent in most Italian society.