Press TV, Rome
Hundreds of people staged a protest in the Italian capital against the mandatory anti-COVID green pass which came into effect on August 6 and whose effects are set to be further extended.
The Italian government is planning to make the so-called "vaccine passport" a requirement for employees at all public sector workplaces as well as potentially at key businesses in the private sector including supermarkets. At the rally, protesters were holding banners that read "united for freedom of choice" and "hands off our children."
The "vaccine passport" has been required since early August in order to access cultural and leisure venues across Italy. Since September 1 the health certification has become obligatory for long-distance trains, domestic air flights, and schools amid widespread grumblings.
Freevax protests held across Italy over the past weeks have often turned nasty. A few days ago the police staged raids in several Italian cities against anti-vax extremists during which weapons such as knives and clubs were found.
Protesters at Saturday's rally in Rome were joined by supporters of far-right party Forza Nuova. An anti-vaccine passport protest was also held in Milan, with about 5,000 people parading in the city center.