A protester holds an Italian flag as he takes part in a demonstration in Piazza del Popolo in Rome.(AFP)
A protester holds an Italian flag as he takes part in a demonstration in Piazza del Popolo in Rome.(AFP)

Rage over Covid-19 lockdowns

  • Dozens of protesters were arrested after an unauthorised march in Sydney, with New South Wales police minister David Elliott branding those who took part as “morons”.
Agencies |
PUBLISHED ON JUL 26, 2021 03:08 AM IST

More than 100,000 people protested in Australia, France, Italy and Greece over the weekend, sparking clashes with police as they railed against Covid-19 measures and government sanctions against the unvaccinated aimed at prodding more people into getting jabs against the deadly disease.

Dozens of protesters were arrested after an unauthorised march in Sydney, with New South Wales police minister David Elliott branding those who took part as “morons”.

Organisers had dubbed the protest a “freedom” rally. Attendees carried signs and banners reading “Wake up Australia” and “Drain the Swamp”.

In France, where police deployed tear gas and water cannon against some protesters, an estimated 160,000 took to the streets in nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s health pass that will drastically curtail access to restaurants and public spaces for unvaccinated people.

“Freedom, freedom”, chanted demonstrators in France, carrying placards denouncing “Macron, Tyrant”, “Big Pharma shackles freedom” or saying “No to the pass of shame”.

Meanwhile, around 5,000 people demonstrated in Athens, carrying placards touting slogans such as, “Don’t touch our children”, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

In Italy, protesters gathered in Rome to rally against a mandatory “green pass” for indoor dining and entertainment.

Fauci warns US headed in ‘wrong direction’

The US is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring Covid-19 cases fuelled by unvaccinated Americans and the Delta variant of the virus, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said on Sunday. “We’re going in the wrong direction,’’ said Dr Anthony Fauci, describing himself as “very frustrated”.

He said recommending that the vaccinated wear masks is “under active consideration’’. Also, booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated, he said.

UK health min says sorry for controversial remark

UK health secretary Sajid Javid, who was in self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, posted an update on Twitter to announce his “full recovery” but his words sparked a controversy. He said people should no longer “cower” from the virus.

“Please - if you haven’t yet - get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus,” he wrote in a tweet, which he deleted on Sunday and issued an apology after he was accused of insensitivity towards people following lockdown rules.

On Saturday, in a sign of return to normalcy, nearly 10,000 fans attended the Kaleidoscope music festival at London’s Alexandra Palace grounds.

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