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People protesting against Italy’s health pass sparked controversy after comparing themselves to prisoners of Nazi concentration camps.
The protesters wore striped bibs and held placards saying “No dictatorship” as they marched through Novara, in northern Italy, on Saturday.
There have been several, at times violent, protests in Italy over the so-called ‘green pass’, which the government made mandatory for all workers in October.
“For months, the no-vax movement has continued to use the memory of the Holocaust in a distorted or shameful way,” said Rossella Bottini Treves, president of the Jewish Community of Vercelli. “The latest alarming case being that of Novara, where anti-vaccine and green pass demonstrators raved about being ‘prisoners of Auschwitz’.”
The anti-fascist organisation, Anpi, described the episode on Twitter as “the shame of ignorance”
The Italian health minister, Roberto Speranza, expressed his shock, adding: “What I saw in Novara is out of the grace of God.”
Meanwhile, 900 people gathered in Predappio, the birth town of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, on Sunday to mark the anniversary of his march on Rome and to protest against the green pass.
Italians must present proof of vaccination, immunisation or a negative test when entering their workplaces and for dining inside at bars or restaurants, travelling by plane or long-distance train and entering museums, theatres, cinemas, nightclubs and stadiums. As of Monday, almost 83% of the population aged over 12 were fully vaccinated.