Protesters march through Southsea to demonstrate against coronavirus restrictions

SCORES of people took to the streets of Southsea to protest against coronavirus restrictions.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 2:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th April 2021, 4:46 pm

The demonstration against Covid regulations took place yesterday afternoon and saw about 50 people take part.

The group had been rallied through social media and met at Guildhall Square and marched to Southsea seafront, and back through Palmerston Road.

They were opposed to restrictions introduced following the Covid-19 outbreak, such as mandatory masks and ‘vaccine passports’, which they claim infringe human rights and liberties.

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Protesters in Southsea. Picture by Nicole Gibbs.

Activist Joe Ward said: ‘We believe that each and every one of you has a right to an opinion.

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‘Whether you want to wear a mask or not, whether you want to abide by the lockdown or not, whether you want to take the vaccine or not, that is your choice.’

The new guidelines were introduced under the Coronavirus Act 2020, which granted the government emergency powers to respond to the pandemic last March.

Protesters in Southsea. Picture by Nicole Gibbs.

As the group paraded through the city, they spoke to the public through megaphones about their concerns and handed out stickers and leaflets bearing the slogan Join The White Rose to people.

Joe added: ‘If we do not stand together united then soon we will not be allowed to have an opinion.’

They claimed that medical freedom was being being removed from the public, particularly from NHS staff, with the government launching consultation papers to ‘make the Covid vaccination a condition of work’.

As well as questioning the safety of the vaccines, other topics included lockdowns, mandatory masks, government control, media bias and freedom of speech and movement.

Protesters in Southsea. Pictureby Nicole Gibbs.

As the demonstration moved through Palmerston Road, they urged businesses to open up fully and were met with mixed reactions from those out to lunch in the recently opened outdoor venues.

They received claps and cheers from some, whilst others shouted for them to stop.

There have been similar protests across the country over the past year, and the an anti-government Million Mask March drawing large crowds.

Another protest was also held in Southsea yesterday.

The #Killthebill protest saw people from groups Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Stand Up To Racism, Reclaim These Streets, Unite and more join forces in a bid to get the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill reversed.

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