Tens Of Thousands Rally Against Covid Curbs In Europe, Australia
The Hague, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Nov, 2021 ) :Tens of thousands took to the streets in cities across Europe and Australia Saturday as anger mounted over fresh Covid restrictions imposed against a resurgent pandemic.
Europe is battling a fresh wave of infections and several countries have tightened curbs, with Austria on Friday announcing a nationwide partial lockdown -- the most dramatic restrictions in Western Europe for months.
Several thousand protesters angry at the latest measures gathered in Amsterdam. Another thousand marched through the southern city of Breda near the Belgian border, carrying banners with slogans such as "No Lockdown".
"People want to live, that's why we're here," said organiser Joost Eras.
But "we're not rioters. We come in peace," he said, distancing himself from the chaos the previous night in Rotterdam, in which police said they had fired both warning and targeted shots and used water cannon.
They held up banners decrying "Corona dictatorship" and slamming the "division of society".
"It's not normal that the government deprives us of our rights," said 42-year-old teacher Katarina Gierscher, who travelled for six hours to attend the rally.
From Monday, 8.9 million Austrians will not be allowed to leave home except to go to work, shop for essentials and exercise. The restrictions will initially last 20 days with an evaluation after 10 days.
"Freedom for Denmark," cried some of the marchers at a rally in Copenhagen organised by the radical Men in Black group, who believe Covid-19 is just a "scam".
- French skiers 'delighted' - In Australia around 10,000 marched in Sydney and there were also protests in other major cities against vaccine mandates applied to certain occupations by state authorities.
On Saturday, France dispatched dozens of elite forces to its Caribbean island of Guadeloupe after arson and looting overnight in the overseas territory, despite a newly imposed night curfew.
In Iran, the health ministry said Saturday more than half of the population had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as infection and death rates in the country have started to drop.
But it wasn't all bad.
In France, jubilant skiers hit the slopes as resorts fully opened their doors for the first time in almost two years.
"We're delighted to be able to get the lifts up and running again and to be able to do our job 100 percent," rescue worker Emmanuel Laissus told AFP in the Val Thorens resort in the southeast.