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Monday, January 30, 2023

EXPLAINER: Why so many pandemic related demonstrations?

All over the world, many people have taken to the streets, partaking in protests, demonstrations and strikes to drive home their displeasure about their government’s handling of certain covid related issues.

According to a deep analysis presented in the Global Peace Index (a report produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace,) about 50,000 protests have been linked to the pandemic worldwide and 5,000 of these protests have ended up being violent. The GPI reports that these high numbers were recorded as of July 2021.

At first, these protests were against the government’s failure to stem the spread of the virus effectively. Then it graduated to facing financial hardship resulting from measures put in place by the government to contain the virus, where lockdowns were enforced and restrictions placed on travel and entertainment.

These measures hit related industries and casual workers very hard, making most of them lose their job in the process.

From there, the protests moved to the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, where there were complaints about wealthy countries hoarding the vaccines, whilst poor countries, mostly from Africa, vaccinated less than 5% of their population. During a United Nations General Assembly meeting in September, the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte remarked, “Rich countries hoard life-saving vaccines, while poor nations wait for trickles.”

Now, the protests and demonstrations have graduated and are currently focused on mandatory health passes for workers and compulsory vaccination for health workers. Most countries like Italy are requesting their health workers to vaccinate compulsorily whilst also requiring all people who works in the public and private sectors to hold the Green Pass.

Now Italy is facing over 16% of the workforce being unemployed and banned from working unless they comply.

In France and Canada, thousands proceeded on a peaceful march to protest vaccine passports. A video making round on Telegram channel (Insider Amigo) shows French citizens storming stores that enforce vaccine passport, filling up shopping carts and leaving them right before the checkout before walking out.

The case is no different in the United States as first responders gather outside of Bill de Blasio’s Mansion in New York to protest vaccine mandates. In South Africa, there were calls online, evolving into nationwide protests against vaccine passports.

According to the protestors, it is against their fundamental human rights to be forced to get vaccinated or show proof of vaccination.

“It should be the choice of each person whether to be vaccinated. With the passports it is a means of forcing us” to get vaccinated, said Veronique Whalen, a 31-year-old who came with her family and said she doesn’t normally attend protests. – VOA News reports.

In Vancouver, their protests were rested on the backdrop that the pandemic was a hoax thus opposing the immunization requirement and misinformation about the virus and vaccine.

Many more demonstrations and protests seem to be underway as anti-vaxxers harden refuse to see eye to eye with the government’s decision to get everyone vaccinated and show proof of the same.

Will the demonstrations stop anytime soon?

What we know is that until issues about the Covid-19 passports and compulsory vaccination are resolved, we are in for a long ride of protests, demonstrations and strikes.

This story is supported by Journalists for Human Rights under the Mobilizing Media to Fighting Covid-19 project.

www.zamireports.com/ Ghana.




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