Far-right mobs stormed trade union buildings in Rome and clashed with riot police in the largest demonstrations against Covid restrictions Italy has seen in the pandemic.
roups of extremists, including football hooligans, broke into the headquarters of the left-wing CGIL union, which supports the country’s “green pass” vaccine passport scheme.
Coronavirus rules in Italy are among the most stringent in Europe, with all workers requiring a Covid passport.
The demonstrations on Saturday, which attracted around 10,000 people in Rome and 5,000 in Milan, quickly descended into what Maurizio Landini, general secretary of CGIL, called a “thuggish and fascist” attack, which some compared to the storming of the US Capitol in January.
Led by Roberto Fiore and Giuliano Castellino, the leaders of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party, rioters forced their way into CGIL’s offices and vandalised computers and other equipment before being removed by police.
Elsewhere in the capital, tourists were caught up in the disturbances as fighting broke out in shopping districts near government buildings.
Protesters threw sticks, bottles and paper bombs at police, who responded with baton charges and water cannon.
“What happened yesterday is a wound to democracy, and an insult to the constitution,” Mr Landini said as he addressed a peaceful rally at CGIL’s headquarters yesterday.
Police arrested Mr Fiore, Mr Castellino and 10 other alleged agitators, including a former member of NAR, a far-right terrorist group from the 1970s.
CGIL and other unions have called for Forza Nuova and other neo-fascist groups to be outlawed.
Mario Draghi, the prime minister, condemned the violence, but pledged to press on with vaccinations. (©Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2021)
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