At 5 p.m. on September 25, Daniel Vezzoli, 34, was standing across from City Hall in the northern Italian town of Bergamo. He was answering a call to action that he had read on Telegram earlier that week. “Protests against the dictatorship, organized by the people, non-political, in over 120 cities,” it read.
Along with 400 others, Vezzoli headed to the historic center of the city to demonstrate against Italy’s latest update to the EU Covid-19 passport, also known as the Green Pass. The document, which is set to last until the end of the year, makes Italy the first European country to make coronavirus health passes mandatory for both public and private-sector workers, starting October 15.
The Green Pass, which is required to access public spaces like indoor restaurants, gyms and cinemas, does not make vaccination mandatory. Residents have the option to take a rapid test every 48 hours, instead, but many complain they can cost up to 50 euros each and often require advance booking, making the process complex and expensive.