Holding signs reading “Freedom is non-negotiable” and “No health passports,” the protestors flooded the nations capital on Saturday.
Billed by its organizers as the “biggest street party London has ever seen,” the rally drew thousands of participants from all walks of life unhappy with the draconian restrictions on gatherings and movement, and opposed to the government’s plans to introduce un-British ‘vaccine passports’.
As of mid-afternoon, the mood seemed jovial. Though gatherings of such a large scale are still forbidden under the UK’s lockdown rules, the mostly maskless crowd marched freely through the city.
Unlike protests by climate activists over the preceding days, Saturday’s march was largely ignored by the mainstream media, with only a handful of British tabloids dedicating short stories to the demonstration.
The protesters themselves accused the media of ignoring “hundreds of thousands” of marchers and their demands. However, nailing down a more accurate attendance figure than “thousands” was not immediately possible.
The UK’s current lockdown strategy will all but end by late June, unless a surge in infections or new variants of the coronavirus triggers a change of plan. As of Saturday morning, more than 38 million people in England have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and government researchers noted on Friday that infections have fallen to such an extent that Britain has “moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation.”
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