Italian police raid Covid health pass protesters 'planning violence'

The Local/AFP
The Local/AFP - [email protected] • 9 Sep, 2021 Updated Thu 9 Sep 2021 11:40 CEST
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Ultra right Forza Nuova protesters lead the No Green pass supporters during a demonstration in Rome on July 24, 2021, against the introduction of a mandatory 'green pass' for indoor dining and entertainment area. - Italy on July 22 said a health pass would be mandatory for people wishing to access bars, restaurants, swimming pools, sports facilities, museums and theatres from August 6. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

Italian police raided the homes and searched the computers on Thursday of eight people suspected of planning violence during protests against the country's coronavirus passport.


The suspects are members of a group on messaging app Telegram called "The Warriors", where the use of weapons and DIY explosives at "No Green Pass" demonstrations have been discussed, according to a police statement.

They were said to be planning to attend a protest this weekend in Rome but are also accused of "inciting the other members of the group to carry out violent actions" in their home regions against unspecified "institutional targets" or during visits by government ministers.

Some members of the group also planned a meeting where they intended to procure "white weapons" (non-firearms) for use at the Rome protest, the statement said.

The searches were carried out in Milan, Rome, Venice, Padua, Bergamo and Reggio Emilia.



Protests have been taking place across Italy since the 'green pass' was introduced on August 6th.

The health certificate shows if someone is vaccinated against Covid-19, has tested negative or recently recovered from the virus, and is required by everyone in Italy who wants to eat inside restaurants, take intercity trains and buses, and for teachers.

Italian authorities are now preparing to expand the scheme to workplaces, with plans to roll it out to employees across public and private sectors in stages.

It is the latest effort to try to control a pandemic that has claimed almost 130,00 lives since sweeping across Italy in February 2020, but has sparked small and occasionally violent protests.

The government is also considering making Covid vaccinations obligatory for the entire population in a bid to help Italy reach the target of vaccinating 80 percent of the population over the age of 12 by the end of September.

More than 39 million people in Italy - almost 73 percent of the population over the age of 12 - have now been fully vaccinated, according to the latest government data.



The Local/AFP 2021/09/09 11:40

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