Monday, February 8, 2021

Lockdown protests go worldwide in 2021

Swiss march in lakeside tax haven to protest COVID-19 lockdown | Reuters - Arnd Wiegmann:

February 6, 2021 - "Some 500 protesters marched through the Swiss tax haven of Zug on Saturday, wearing white protective suits and chanting dystopian slogans to voice displeasure with rules aimed at limiting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The demonstration was reminiscent of a rally a week ago in Vienna, where thousands opposed to that country’s even-stricter lockdown faced off against police. Though Switzerland’s restrictions have been less severe than those in Germany, Austria or Italy -- restaurants and non-essential shops are closed but ski areas are open -- there is still a steady buzz of opposition.

"In Zug, police watched but did not intervene."

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Anti-lockdown demonstrations continue in Europe | WION:

Feb. 7, 2021 - "Hundreds of people took to the streets of Copenhagen on Saturday night to protest Denmark's Covid-19 restrictions and the country's plans for a digital vaccination certificate. Organised by a group calling itself 'Men in Black Denmark,' some 600 people gathered in the bitter cold in front of the parliament building to protest the 'dictatorship' of Denmark's partial lockdown. 

"Main target of people's anger was plan for digital vaccine 'passport'.... Protest organisers say such a passport implies an obligation to be vaccinated and amounts to a further restriction on individual freedom. Vaccination is not compulsory in Denmark."

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What’s driving the COVID lockdown protests? | Al Jazeera - Elizabeth Melimopoulos: 

February 7, 2021 - "Since the start of the year, widescale anti-lockdown demonstrations leading to arrests have taken place in cities across Europe, North America and the Middle East, the latest in a wave of demonstrations that first erupted in March last year, when governments initially imposed restrictions.

"In the Netherlands, there were more than 500 arrests nationwide in relation to violent protests against the introduction of a lockdown and nighttime curfew in late January, the first in the European country since World War II. Last weekend, anti-lockdown protests took place in Belgium, Austria, Hungary, France, Spain and Denmark.

"Lockdowns have been financially devastating for millions of people who have been unable to work and lost their incomes. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), unemployment has soared across major economies since the beginning of the pandemic. The IMF estimates that the global economy shrank by 4.4 percent in 2020, the worst decline since the Great Depression of the 1930s....

"But the financial impact of lockdowns has been felt most acutely in developing economies, where people are less likely to be able to work remotely and individuals and businesses are less likely to have sufficient savings to cover for losses. Lebanon was already suffering a financial and economic crisis when the pandemic struck and its economy is expected to contract by 19.2 percent in 2020 and a further 13.2 percent this year, according to the World Bank. After the government imposed a strict lockdown in January, protesters poured into the streets of Tripoli demanding the government provide more financial support for citizens....

"Financial hardship has also fuelled protests in Latin America, with protests taking place in Peru and Mexico in recent weeks after lockdowns were imposed.... Last year, Mexico saw several protests against the lockdowns from retail and hospitality workers and street vendors. The demonstrations resumed in January, when restaurant employees in Mexico City protested against a renewed lockdown and some businesses reportedly opened in defiance of the restrictions. Renewed protests were held in the city on Thursday."

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