Protesters march through Stratford calling for end to Covid-19 curb on freedom
- Credit: Archant
Up to 40 people joined a protest against the government’s Covid-19 restrictions.
The crowd gathered outside Stratford Station on Saturday, December 5, in an action organised by the group StandUp X and supported by rights activists from The Freedom Festival.
A spokesperson for The Freedom Festival, who asked not be named, said: “We’re here to stand up for our rights.
“Our aim is to protect our freedoms that are being totally ripped to shreds by the Coronavirus Act 2020 which is a ruse to make us comply and bring us under [government] control.”
The Act grants ministers emergency powers to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our priority from the outset has been to save lives.
“We brought in regulations to protect public health and bring down the transmission of this virus in response to rising cases, hospitalisations, and other local factors.”
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The protest was made up of activists, members of the public and anti-vaxxers opposed to vaccinations.
Asked how people who have lost loved ones might feel about the protest, one woman – who also asked not to be named – said a majority of those who died worldwide had underlying health conditions.
The World Health Organisation in March identified that older people and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of getting severe Covid-19.
However, the public health agency emphasises that everyone must protect themselves to safeguard others.
From Stratford Station the protesters marched through Westfield Shopping Centre, shouting “We are the people, we are the power, we are the 99 per cent” in front of onlookers.
The marchers did not meet resistance although security staff escorted them.
One protester, who identified himself as H. Hassan, said: “We just want [everyone] to look at both sides of the argument and make their own decisions.”
The marchers turned onto Westfield Avenue before looping back towards Stratford Station where they assembled on the stairs.
One speaker, addressing the crowd, said: “We are here bringing the message of StandUp X to the people of Stratford.”
But a passerby praised Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates – whose philanthropic work includes supporting vaccine programs – before shouting: “Yes to the vaccine, give me the vaccine!”
Under Tier 2, the rule of six still applies outdoors.