Turns out the Italians are fans of Brandon too.
This past weekend, on October 9th, anti-vaccine mandate protesters in Rome, Italy chanted “f*** Joe Biden” as they marched past the American Embassy, which was long the route of their march through the Eternal City.
🇮🇹🇺🇲 Protesters in Rome chant "Fuck Joe Biden" as they march past the American Embassy 😅👊 pic.twitter.com/mxAkastFtW
— Elisa 🇬🇧 (@JustLaElisa17) October 9, 2021
According to the Associated Press, “Thousands of demonstrators marched down Rome’s famous Via Veneto and other streets on Saturday, some smashing their way into a union office and clashing with police as they protested Italy’s new “Green Pass” vaccination requirement for employees to enter their offices.”
The Green Pass is a certification system that will become mandatory beginning on Oct. 15, 2021, and is required for both public and private workplaces.
By requiring all employees to have the pass to come to work, Italy has in effect mandated that all working-age Italians receive the vaccine.
The pass was already required to visit museums, gyms, indoor restaurants, and theaters or to access transportation services such as trains, buses, and planes.
Italian VP Maurizio Stirpe told Corriere della Sera, an Italian newspaper, that the Green Pass system is necessary for “creating workplaces that are as safe as possible… because it is the only way to ensure public health and economic recovery.”
Forcing the pass system on Italians will likely prove a challenging task, as roughly a tenth of the nation’s workers remain unvaccinated. According to Yahoo News, “about 2.5 million of the country’s 23 million workers are unvaccinated, and risk being denied access to the workplace from October 15.“
Those who don’t get the pass face having to pay a 1,500 euro fine and while those that don’t turn up to work because they refuse to get the Green Pass can’t be fired, they can be suspended without pay. Employers that do not ensure their employees comply with the Green Pass requirements face fines ranging from 400 to 1,000 euros.
However, Yahoo News also reports that there are some ways for workers to get around having to get a Green Pass:
Unvaccinated workers can still get a Green Pass by getting tested for coronavirus or with a certificate of recovery, if they contracted the virus within the previous six months.
If they instead opt to qualify though testing, they have to take them at their own expense, and repeat them every 48 hours.
Despite the potential workarounds, many Italian workers and employers are furious about the system, alleging that it will lead to chaos and that there is not enough testing capacity for the alternative to be workable. their anger sparked a massive march in Rome in which organizers claim 100,000 people participated.
According to the AP, “The protesters first held a noisy, authorized protest Saturday in Rome’s Piazza Del Popolo. Then they left the vast square and clashed with police as they headed through Villa Borghese Park and down the Via Veneto in an unauthorized march.”
Some protesters armed with iron and wooden bars smashed into the headquarters of CGIL, a left-leaning labor union that supports the Green Pass system, and others proceeded toward the Chigi Palace, the seat of the Italian government, where they were stopped by police officers armed with batons stopped them.
It was during this march that protesters passed the American Embassy and chanted “f*** Joe Biden.”
While it is unclear what, if anything, sparked the anti-Biden chant heard at many public events in America, The Daily Wire notes that “The protest coincided with the visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to Rome. At one point, Italian security officials had to take Pelosi and her husband out of a Mass in Rome’s St. Patrick’s Church.”
Despite the massive march, it does not appear that the Italian government will back down or change the Green Pass system. Interior Minister Undersecretary Carlo Sibilia derogatorily described the march as being composed of “neo-fascist groups” and Prime Minister Draghi has pledged to move forward with the Green Pass system.