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Covid 19 business closure Seattle Washington. Photo: Nick Bolton
Copenhagen

Protests against strict new Covid measures seen across Europe

The Danish parliament was besieged by protesters for nine days in opposition to the proposed “vaccination law”, which would allow the police to “physically coerce vaccination through detainment”. These new “emergency powers” alongside new lockdown measures, have led to various protests across Europe.

Published: November 20, 2020, 10:10 am

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    After nine days of protests, it was reported on social media that the Danish government had dropped the law. The epidemic law would have allowed forced vaccinations of certain groups that refuse the vaccine, as well as forcible medical examinations followed by detention in isolation centres.“

    “The Danish Health Authority would be able to define groups of people who must be vaccinated in order to contain and eliminate a dangerous disease,” reported The Local. “People who refuse the above can – in some situations – be coerced through physical detainment, with police allowed to assist.”

    The media has instead covered the slaughtering of the mink population because of the spread of Coronavirus. Interestingly, an Internet search for “Covid protests Denmark” on Google gives zero results related to the unpopular vaccination law.

    The law would have allowed health authorities to forcibly inject people with a Covid-19 vaccine. It was supposed to replace an existing emergency law passed this year which gave the government sweeping powers in their response to Covid-19, but protests lasting nine days have seen the radical measures shelved for the time being.

    The Danish Medical Association (DMA) had also called for the new law to be dropped. “We think these are regulations that go too far and ought to be changed,” said Camilla Rathcke, director of the DMA. She told Danish news outlet DR that such power over citizens would be “overstepping boundaries”.

    In Spain, when the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez declared a sixth-month state of emergency in late October, there were days of protests across the country. In Barcelona, there were violent clashes between riot police and protestors.

    But according to an opinion poll from the 40dB Institute, six out of ten Spaniards would support being isolated at home to stop the second wave of the Coronavirus. During the first wave, the Spanish government introduced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, where residents were only allowed to leave their homes for necessary matters.

    Several regions had asked the central government for permission to reintroduce isolation. So far, however, the Ministry of Health has said no, on the grounds that current restrictions, with a night curfew and limited travel between regions, are sufficient to slow down the spread of infection.

    In addition to 61,2 percent supporting isolation, the survey also showed that 72 percent believed that measures to reduce the spread of infection should be given priority even if they harm the economy. Most also stated that they had changed their behavior, such as limiting their social interaction.

    The survey covered 2 000 people and was conducted between October 30 and November 6, when the number of reported cases increased in most regions. Since November 9, the spread of infection has shown signs of slowing down.

    The answers in the survey vary greatly based on political affiliation. Some 48 percent of those who vote for the nationalist Vox Party believe that the economy should be given priority, while the corresponding figure for supporters of the governing parties the Socialist Party and Unidas Podemos is 14,6 and 10,8 percent respectively. Similarly, most of the governing parties’ voters were positive about isolation, while most of the Vox voters were negative.

    The anti-lockdown protests in Italy peaked last month, and were probably the most extensive on the continent. Marches were held in dozens of cities across the country, including Rome, Naples, Genoa and Bologna.

    In Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, anti-Covid protesters took to the streets on November 17 marking the national holiday known as Fight for Freedom Day. These marches took place even though they were illegal under the Slovakian emergency law, designed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

    This week, a large demonstration was also held in Berlin against the government’s planned amendment to the Infection Protection Act.

    Swedish news outlet, Nya Tider has reported that the pandemic no longer consisted of the same virus variants that are being spread. These also do not seem to be as dangerous as those that hit Europe during first wave.

    During the second wave – which was not presented at all in the mass media – there is now scientific support showing that the mortality rate has fallen considerably from last spring when it occasionally was around 90-100 deaths per day, to today’s figures which are currently around 15-20 a day despite many more people being infected.

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    • Rentia Diedericks

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