by James Billot
Monday, 18
October 2021
Dispatch
10:25

Anger and resignation at Green Pass protests in Italy

Protestors at this weekend's demonstrations in Milan had little hope
by James Billot
A sign reads “educate for freedom – no green pass”

Milan, Italy.

“Giu le mani dai bambini” (“Keep your hands off the children”)

“Educare alla libertà” (“Educate for freedom”)

“Studianti e operai nella lotta contro il green pass” (“Students and workers in the fight against the green pass”)

These were some of the slogans on display at this weekend’s anti-green pass protests in Milan, Italy. Protests were nationwide, but here at the Arco della Pace an unusual cross-section of students, blue collar workers and parents had marched through the gates of the Castello Sforzesco to make one last stand against the green passes.

As speakers expressed solidarity with striking port workers in the cities of Trieste, Genoa and Ancona, flags of European countries were placed in the middle of the square to illustrate that this movement was international. Speeches were fiery, short and energising, focusing on the arbitrary expansion of government power, infringement on workers’ rights and fears over what kind of precedent the green pass was setting for their children. 

Port workers protesting next to the Arco della Pace

While a few signs did lean quite heavily into the conspiratorial (“non è una pandemia, è un test di intelligenza”), most protesters — comprised of university students, dockers and social workers — expressed reasonable fears about the curtailment of their freedoms. 

In my conversations with the protesters, there was no talk of the Great Reset or Klaus Schwab, but mainly a desire to go back to the way things were before. “If you told me a year ago that I would be protesting on the streets for my right to go university,” one student told me, “I would have laughed at you”. (Admittedly, it wasn’t all this lofty: speeches were laced with epithets directed at Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the health minister, including creative suggestions as to where swabs could be inserted.)

But there was also an air of futility about the whole thing. This was the thirteenth consecutive Saturday of protests in Milan and some had been protesting since the green passes were first announced back in the summer. Now, this week, they were finally coming into effect. Many were angry (“Now we are a country that prioritises vaccination ahead of education”), but more were despondent: “I do not understand what my country has become”.

Protesters marching from the gates of the Castello Sforzesco

This remark seemed to capture the wider sentiment of the protests. There was a jaded acceptance that the “new normal” was here to stay, whether protesters liked it or not, reflecting a swelling disillusionment with the Government — and Italy more broadly. This was, after all, the first western country to follow the Chinese example and implement a nationwide lockdown back in March 2020. Now, it had become the first liberal democracy to make it mandatory for citizens to have a Covid passport to access not only most public spaces (as is already the case for all citizens over the age of 12) but all public and private workplaces as well. This, remember, in a country that is already 81% vaccinated.

While it is true that most Italians (and workers) are in favour of the green pass, feelings of disenchantment have spread well beyond a few malcontents. Barely half of Italy’s voters showed up to vote in this month’s local elections (the lowest turnout over) and in some cities, turnout in high-income neighbourhoods was as much as 30% higher than in low-income neighbourhoods. Introducing green passes is likely to exacerbate this gulf. 

As one worker told me: “I protest not because I think there will be change. I do it for my own conscience – that is it”. 

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Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
11 months ago

You know, there’s an element of deja vu all over again about this whole covid thing. When the Czar of Russia was overthrown, he wasn’t overthrown by socialists. The socialists lied about that the same way socialists lie about everything. He was overthrown in favour of liberal democracy. THAT government lost power to the socialists because of the utter exhaustion of the people of Russia after years of war. But they didn’t lose power to a popular revolution. The socialists lied about that the same way socialists lie about everything. They came to power in a palace coup with no popular support. People were just so worn out they just said, “yeah, whatever”. Sound familiar?

Last edited 11 months ago by Francis MacGabhann
Peta Seel
Peta Seel
11 months ago

This made for very depressing reading. The only way to stop health passports, in Italy or anywhere else, is for significant numbers of people to refuse to comply. There is no other way. If that is not done then citizens everywhere will have asked for what is coming to them and it will be generations before freedom is regained.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Remember Revelations 13:16, where all must wear the mark of the Beast on their heads or hands to be allowed to buy or sell?

Same thing. Just get your mark and STFU, your betters have decided you must.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
11 months ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

It won’t be generations before freedom is regained … freedom will never be regained. This is a paradigm shift in world history and the vast majority of people, particularly in the west, are asleep at the wheel. Instead of thinking of future generations they are instead focusing on nothing but their own petty needs and wants.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Smithson
Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
11 months ago

Look on the bright side. The more diversity in social distancing in different countries the more useful the data will be to actually find out the impact for future dcision making.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

The impact is already known – it has none. That the West is on this course of complete self destruction is not OK just because all the nations are doing it – that makes it even worse. Lemmings in an ambling stampede to the cliff where they will drown their economy instead of themselves, and then live in decades of poverty and huge loss of personal freedom – FOR NOTHING, for no reason but that the MSM and Government have used project fear so effectively that the people think only by self harming can they save themselves from this minor problem.

“In my conversations with the protesters, there was no talk of the Great Reset or Klaus Schwab”

One fact we can see clear as a bell is that this is NOT about health. If it was then the 1/3 of citizens with ‘Natural Immunity’ from recovering from covid would get the same passport as the vaccine takers (with its 13% – 23% effectiveness after 8 months, much less than natural immunity, and Ivermectin would be given out like aspirin.) Florida, Texas, South Dakota, Sweden, Belarus, would be held up as models of success by NOT Locking down…… But no – Occom’s Razor “the simplest explanation is usually the best one.” shows it is Klaus Schwab and the WEF, or some other kind of global plot to destroy the middle classes, working class, and redistribute all the money to the super wealthy (Who have all grown their vast wealth by 50% – 100% in the last 18 months alone!!!)

John Potts
John Potts
11 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You get the Green Pass if you have recovered from COVID within the last 6 months.
See three sample references below in Italian and English.
Sarà possibile svolgere alcune attività solo se si è in possesso di una Certificazione verde Covid-19 (green pass) che attesti di aver fatto almeno una dose di vaccino oppure essere risultati negativi a un tampone molecolare o rapido nelle ultime 48 ore oppure di essere guariti da COVID-19 nei sei mesi precedenti.

The document attests to one of the following criteria: vaccination against Covid-19, a negative antigenic or molecular swab taken within the last 48 hours, or recovery from the infection. 

To enter Italy with the COVID-19 Green Certificate, travellers must meet one of the following conditions, as shown in the Certificate:

  • have completed the prescribed anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination cycle
  • or have recovered from COVID-19
  • or have taken a molecular or antigen swab test within 48 hours prior to entering Italy with negative results. 

All the above references are taken from the Italian Ministry of Health web site:
https://www.dgc.gov.it/web/
I hope the English references help to clarify the situation for non-Italian speakers.

Ailsa Roddie
Ailsa Roddie
11 months ago

This is so sad but it’s true -we are tired. I downloaded the Scottish passport app (once I finally got it working..still doesn’t in some cases). I contacted the ICO about its personal data failings. I tried to alert people on Twitter and got a sympathetic response from a prominent lawyer. But then I still used the app to go to the theatre. I feel very confused and torn.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago
Reply to  Ailsa Roddie

“This is so sad but it’s true -we are tired.”

Just reading your post makes be weary to the core….

“The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing”
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”

Ailsa Roddie
Ailsa Roddie
11 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You are absolutely right.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
11 months ago
Reply to  Ailsa Roddie

Anyone who downloads/uses any such app is complying. Plain and simple. There is nothing to be confused about. Either people are willing to stand up for freedom or they’re willing to sacrifice freedom, and the freedoms of future generations, just to make their life a little bit easier.

Ailsa Roddie
Ailsa Roddie
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

Yes, I did comply. I’m not proud of it.

Andrea X
Andrea X
11 months ago
Reply to  Ailsa Roddie

Why would you use it to go to the theatre?
(And why would you spend £40 to sit for 2 hours wearing a mask?)

Ailsa Roddie
Ailsa Roddie
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

A valued friend kindly invited me to the theatre with her. I felt it wasn’t the time to make a fuss.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
11 months ago

The best clue here is:

“While it is true that most Italians (and workers) are in favour of the green pass….”

Hm. Thinks. As an educated person I must be against something which is supported by the majority – it doesn’t matter what it is. I need to show that I’m cleverer than they are.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

The overwhelming majority of people never think and those who think never become the overwhelming majority. Choose your side.”
― Elif Shafak