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Photo shows Swiss music festival, not recent Italian protest

October 15, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Photo shows a massive protest in Trieste, Italy, against a new requirement that all workers show a COVID-19 health pass.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo doesn’t show Italy, and was taken in 2018 at Street Parade, a music festival in Zurich, Switzerland.

THE FACTS: On Friday, as protests erupted in Italy regarding a measure that requires workers to show a COVID-19 health pass when entering their place of employment, a 2018 photo from Switzerland circulated widely on Twitter with false captions.

“Italy protesting medical tyranny!” wrote one Twitter user who shared the photo.

“ITALY: Massive protest in Italy’s northeastern city of #Trieste as dockers and other workers go on strike in huge numbers today to protest the nationwide vaccine mandate implemented by the Italian government,” another user falsely claimed.

However, the photo, which shows people amassing from all directions on a bridge that’s surrounded by water, was taken before COVID-19 in Switzerland. The photo shows Street Parade, an annual techno party that’s held near Lake Zurich, and can be found on the website’s 2018 gallery. Street Parade features moving stages and DJs.

Throughout the pandemic, the photo has been misrepresented multiple times and shared on social media with bogus claims, including a false claim that it showed a former President Donald Trump rally in Ocala, Florida.

The Associated Press reported on Friday that protests broke out in Italy after the measure went into effect. It requires all workers to show a so-called “Green Pass,” which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or having recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.