WATCH: Thousands Clash With Police in Rome Over COVID Vaccine Passports

Massive protest in Rome against COVID vaccine passports. Credit: screenshot, @AnonymeCitoyen/Twitter

We touched on the crazy riots yesterday in Rome, in the story that I did about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to The Vatican and her meeting with the Pope. She was also supposed to do a reading at a mass in a church in Rome, but bailed out because of a “security incident.”

Rome is just the latest place where protesters are coming out against COVID mandates, restrictions, and passports. We’ve also been watching in Australia how things were melting down there, with the government going full-on Stasi.

A massive crowd came out, gathering in Piazza del Popolo and marching down the Via Veneto, to protest the “Green Pass” the government is requiring to get into public and private workplaces. It requires at least one vaccine dose, documented recovery from the illness within the last six months, or negative tests in the last 48 hours. The pass will be required starting Friday to get into the workplaces.

Employers and employees can both face fines if they don’t go along with this, and public workers can be suspended if they show up for work five times without the pass. Italy had already been requiring the pass to enter museums, theaters, gyms, and indoor restaurants, and take long-distance trains and buses or domestic flights.

The low estimate of the protest march’s crowd size was 10,000 people, with the organizers claiming 100,000.

But then, it got pretty crazy, with the police just whacking the people with batons and water cannons, and using pepper spray on the crowds.

Then it seemed to go completely wild, with the people then fighting back against the police.

From AP:

A few hundred protesters broke off and headed down another street in Rome’s historic main shopping district that ends near Premier Mario Draghi’s office in Chigi Palace. Police formed a line, aided by police vans, and sprayed water to thwart access to the seat of the Italian government.

Police swung at some demonstrators with batons. Many protesters in the front lines outside Chigi Palace raised their arms to indicate non-violence as they faced off with police. Others raised clenched fists or waved Italian flags and shouted “Freedom!” One banner read “Get your hands off (our) work.”

The police also arrested two leaders of the right-wing party Forza Nuova who were at the protest. It’s not clear what they did to earn being arrested.