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Covid restrictions - protests/disobedience, and are people just getting fed up with it?

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py_megapixel

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Thought this might be of interest to some:

From https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...s-state-in-brazil-as-china-fights-new-cluster:
Protesters started fires in the centre of the southern city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks on Sunday at a banned protest against coronavirus lockdown measures. Officers responded with teargas and water cannon, arresting at least 30 people.

Police in Amsterdam also used a water cannon to disperse another banned anti-lockdown demonstration on a major square ringed by museums. Video showed police spraying people grouped against a wall of the Van Gogh Museum.

It was the worst violence in the Netherlands since the pandemic began. The country has been in a tough lockdown since mid-December that is due to continue at least until 9 February.
This was in response to the introduction of a new 9pm curfew in the Netherlands.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before this kind of thing starts to happen on a large scale elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world too.
I'm not really sure violence is the right means to exhibit it, but I do understand their point. It would be interesting to know whether these protesters actually represent the general opinion of the entire Dutch population, or if they are a minority viewed by most as extremists.
 
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Bantamzen

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Its actually been happening for some time in a number of countries around the world, they just don't get reported much. This is one example from October but a bit of searching digs up many more.


A photographer was injured by a hurled bottle, RAI said. Police fired tear gas to clear the protesters in Piazza del Castello.
In that same square, hours earlier, some 300 taxis peacefully lined up in neat rows to draw attention to their economic losses from the implosion of tourism and disappearance of workers from the city center as they do their jobs remotely during the pandemic.

Triggering the violence in Turin were a group of “ultras,” as violent soccer fans are known, the LaPresse news agency said. It said five of the protesters were detained by authorities.
In Italy’s business capital, Milan, police used tear gas to scatter protesters Monday night, and an Associated Press journalist saw at least two people detained.
The protests began shortly after the national government's order took effect requiring bars, cafes and restaurants to close their doors at 6 p.m. for the next 30 days as Italy tries to rein the resurgence of coronavirus infections in recent weeks.

Since most Italians don't dine out before 7:30 p.m. at the earliest, the decree effectively wiped out most of the restaurants' already reduced revenue in the pandemic, although takeout and delivery can continue until midnight.

The crackdown was announced Sunday, a day after Italy registered more than a half million confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic's outbreak.

Last week, a peaceful march by shopkeepers and other business owners in Naples, upset about a regional curfew that orders citizens off the streets at 11 p.m., turned violent near the Campania region's headquarters. Investigators were quoted in Italian media as saying the violence, in which police officers were injured, bore the hand of the Camorra, the local organized crime group.

A day later, an extreme right political group staged a violent demonstration in downtown Rome.
Smaller cities, including Catania in Sicily, and towns also saw protests Monday. In Cremona, a town in northern Lombardy, restaurant owners turned out in front of the local interior ministry's office. After banging pots and bans, they left them piled up in the street to highlight their economic woes worsened by the latest early-shutdown decree, the ANSA news agency said.
 

brad465

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Yes I was just reading this, while we've all been predicting unrest there's much surprise it's either not come about yet, or in the case of in the Netherlands, only just arisen. It has also made the BBC so maybe this issue is becoming more prolific:


Riot police in the Netherlands have clashed with protesters angry at new coronavirus restrictions.

Officers used water cannon and tear gas to clear demonstrators in Eindhoven. They had gathered in defiance of a new 21:00 (20:00 GMT) curfew.

Some protesters threw fireworks, looted supermarkets and smashed shop windows. There were smaller demonstrations in the capital, Amsterdam.

More than 100 people have been arrested.

Some of the demonstrators threw fireworks and grabbed bicycles to build barricades against the police, who eventually used tear gas to clear the streets.
 

scarby

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If there was to be a successful revolt against extreme measures, I feel it would need to be led on a broad front by businesses, such as those in hospitality, refusing to comply and opening their doors (in a responsible way) to the public who then participated.

I had hopes that such action would materialise with restaurants and bars in France but any proposed movements (there were some rumblings in Marseille, for example, and some business owners protested in Italy) to defy the authorities in such a way seem to have simply failed to take off.
 

Carlisle

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If there was to be a successful revolt against extreme measures, I feel it would need to be led on a broad front by businesses, such as those in hospitality, refusing to comply and opening their doors
True, & to have any chance of success it’d require widespread support throughout the country & not just one or two locations in one or two towns
 
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tommy2215

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Even if there were large scale protests or even civil disobedience in the UK, my bet is the Government would respond with tougher restrictions, tougher penalties and even tougher enforcement rather than a loosening of restrictions. They are fully wedded to this lockdown.
 

WelshBluebird

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If there was to be a successful revolt against extreme measures, I feel it would need to be led on a broad front by businesses, such as those in hospitality, refusing to comply and opening their doors (in a responsible way) to the public who then participated.
We've already seen some pretty steep penalties for those hospitality venues being found to be breaking the rules.
Somehow I doubt most places would be open to the idea of giving local councils the excuse to remove their license so easily, do you?
 

jtuk

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We've already seen some pretty steep penalties for those hospitality venues being found to be breaking the rules.
Somehow I doubt most places would be open to the idea of giving local councils the excuse to remove their license so easily, do you?

If they're going to go under anyway, then losing their licence is an empty threat
 

squizzler

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People seem happy to follow the rules in democracies such as most of Europe or the USA but I am very worried about the chaos likely to envelope places like Russia and China where people are governed by regimes they have an ingrained distrust for.
 

MikeWM

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Denmark too, and not for the first time.

https://www.rt.com/news/513495-denmark-lockdown-protest-fire/

Anti-lockdown protesters in Denmark burn effigy of PM, brawl with police

Hundreds of black-clad protesters clashed with police on the streets of Copenhagen on Saturday night, shooting fireworks at the officers and getting batons in return. Violent demonstrations have become a weekly occurrence in the Danish capital, where lockdown measures were extended at the beginning of the year and where the government recently clamped down further on the size of gatherings permitted.

The group, calling themselves the ‘Men in Black’, torched an effigy of Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. By the end of the night, at least five people were arrested, Copenhagen police said on Twitter.
 

brad465

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People seem happy to follow the rules in democracies such as most of Europe or the USA but I am very worried about the chaos likely to envelope places like Russia and China where people are governed by regimes they have an ingrained distrust for.
Russia already is "enveloped" in chaos as a result of the Navalny situation, albeit this is separate from Covid.
 

ainsworth74

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I look forward to seeing the long promised anti-lockdown revolution comrades!

Slightly more seriously I just don't see that there will ever* be a sufficient number of people/businesses disgruntled for there to be a mass protest/revolt/etc. Protests sure and we've had some of those already during earlier phases of pandemic as have other countries. But a protest or similar with sufficient critical mass to effect government policy in any meaningful way? Can't see it happening. Some 'disobedience' sure I think we're seeing more of that and will see more of that. But that's hardly likely to change government policy in a meaningful fashion.

*I add as an aside that I could see it happening if this drags on into winter 2021/2022 but as I'm still gambling on Easter 2021 for significant relaxations I don't see how you get enough people upset enough to do anything about the current situation in meaningful numbers.
 

Carlisle

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People seem happy to follow the rules in democracies such as most of Europe or the USA but I am very worried about the chaos likely to envelope places like Russia and China where people are governed by regimes they have an ingrained distrust for.
True, but the regimes you describe & several others, have been at risk of, or have already undergone various forms of popular uprising long before Covid was an issue
 
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Bantamzen

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I look forward to seeing the long promised anti-lockdown revolution comrades!

Slightly more seriously I just don't see that there will ever* be a sufficient number of people/businesses disgruntled for there to be a mass protest/revolt/etc. Protests sure and we've had some of those already during earlier phases of pandemic as have other countries. But a protest or similar with sufficient critical mass to effect government policy in any meaningful way? Can't see it happening. Some 'disobedience' sure I think we're seeing more of that and will see more of that. But that's hardly likely to change government policy in a meaningful fashion.

*I add as an aside that I could see it happening if this drags on into winter 2021/2022 but as I'm still gambling on Easter 2021 for significant relaxations I don't see how you get enough people upset enough to do anything about the current situation in meaningful numbers.
Honestly it will depend on the government's moves in the coming weeks. If easements are planned and delivered, they might just get away with it. But even then it only needs one flashpoint somewhere to kick off events that could lead to more serious incidents. I've often mentioned my experiences during 2001 in one of the ultimate epicentres of the devastating riots here. They don't happen overnight, they happen as tensions rise and resentment grows. And I am starting to sense that not just out and about, but across social media. Its not enough to translate into full on rioting situations, but with growing numbers of protests and heavier policing we are creeping towards something.
 

Bikeman78

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Thought this might be of interest to some:

From https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...s-state-in-brazil-as-china-fights-new-cluster:

This was in response to the introduction of a new 9pm curfew in the Netherlands.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before this kind of thing starts to happen on a large scale elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world too.
I'm not really sure violence is the right means to exhibit it, but I do understand their point. It would be interesting to know whether these protesters actually represent the general opinion of the entire Dutch population, or if they are a minority viewed by most as extremists.
The Dutch are normally pretty laid back in my experience so this is quite surprising to me.
 

yorkie

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These measures are an attack on our Western values, they are an attack on democracy, they are an attack on our freedoms and civil rights. They disregard mental & physical wellbeing and destroy livelihoods.

People are losing faith in democracy and are becoming increasingly angry and upset. This is a dangerous situation.

The longer the authoritarianism currently plaguing our societies continues, the greater the dangers are.

There are many low scale protests but most people are not keen to get involved, at least not yet, even if they sympathise with the cause.

In Italy many restaurants reopened earlier this month in defiance of the lockdown. The mainstream media didn't report on it much; the best I could find from a UK media source was this:

ITALY businesses have begun to act out against the Government's coronavirus regulations with small acts of "civil disobedience".​

Reports from local newspapers highlight repeated acts of defiance from across the country,

But there are videos on Youtube that give a clearer indication as to what went on, including footage of police being made to leave a restaurant.

I understand some businesses in the UK are planning to reopen on 30 January; I understand where they are coming from totally but I think that they should wait at least 2-3 weeks but by late February / early March I would absolutely support any that chose to open at that stage. I do fear that by opening too early it will backfire. If they time it right I am sure they will get good public support.

The measures taken to combat the virus are an attack on us all and set an incredibly dangerous precedent.

Make no mistake: authoritarians are attacking our very way of life and they don't want to let us have our freedoms back any time soon; they are calling for long, harsh lockdowns and for so-called "zero covid" strategies that would cause immense suffering for millions and loss of many livelihoods. The rise of authoritarianism must be halted.
 

kristiang85

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Us British don't seem to do the kind of 'en masse' civil disobedience needed, unlike our European counterparts. Our best hope is that the French or Italians finally snap, leading to at least one of the major countries pulling back lots of measures. Afrer that, I forsee a few European countries following suit like dominoes, hopefully us included.
 

Yew

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Us British don't seem to do the kind of 'en masse' civil disobedience needed, unlike our European counterparts. Our best hope is that the French or Italians finally snap, leading to at least one of the major countries pulling back lots of measures. Afrer that, I forsee a few European countries following suit like dominoes, hopefully us included.
I was wondering about seasonal workers in France, lots of people only work full time over the ski season; I wonder if the prospect of there being no tourists, and hence work, this year will cause some sort of strike/protest?
 

brad465

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I look forward to seeing the long promised anti-lockdown revolution comrades!

Slightly more seriously I just don't see that there will ever* be a sufficient number of people/businesses disgruntled for there to be a mass protest/revolt/etc. Protests sure and we've had some of those already during earlier phases of pandemic as have other countries. But a protest or similar with sufficient critical mass to effect government policy in any meaningful way? Can't see it happening. Some 'disobedience' sure I think we're seeing more of that and will see more of that. But that's hardly likely to change government policy in a meaningful fashion.

*I add as an aside that I could see it happening if this drags on into winter 2021/2022 but as I'm still gambling on Easter 2021 for significant relaxations I don't see how you get enough people upset enough to do anything about the current situation in meaningful numbers.
A common theme on Twitter in people's usernames is the figure 3.5%, which refers to the minimum percentage of the population that when staging prolonged peaceful protest will bring down a Government (it has been done on less somewhere in the world, but it's always succeeded when 3.5% are involved). Their use though here is mainly in relation to Brexit and general Government incompetence rather than Covid measures, given many of those using this figure probably support the measures. While it's a low %, for us we're still talking over 2 million who need to be involved.

I understand some businesses in the UK are planning to reopen on 30 January; I understand where they are coming from totally but I think that they should wait at least 2-3 weeks but by late February / early March I would absolutely support any that chose to open at that stage. I do fear that by opening too early it will backfire. If they time it right I am sure they will get good public support.

The measures taken to combat the virus are an attack on us all and set an incredibly dangerous precedent.

Make no mistake: authoritarians are attacking our very way of life and they don't want to let us have our freedoms back any time soon; they are calling for long, harsh lockdowns and for so-called "zero covid" strategies that would cause immense suffering for millions and loss of many livelihoods. The rise of authoritarianism must be halted.
Are these local businesses or ones operating nationally? If they're local you could try and persuade them with this argument, or nationally if they have a contact service you could write to them/email with.
 

squizzler

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These measures are an attack on our Western values, they are an attack on democracy, they are an attack on our freedoms and civil rights. They disregard mental & physical wellbeing and destroy livelihoods.

People are losing faith in democracy and are becoming increasingly angry and upset. This is a dangerous situation.

The longer the authoritarianism currently plaguing our societies continues, the greater the dangers are.
I respect fully suggest you read accounts of Hong Kong street protestors, native tribes in the Amazon, lgbt folk in Russia, etc then you will know what authoritariaism - the term you band about somewhat lightly - is all about.

There is no shortage of noble causes to engage with, and take to the street to protest, especially as there is not so much else to do now. I just fear this is not one of them.
 

Bantamzen

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I respect fully suggest you read accounts of Hong Kong street protestors, native tribes in the Amazon, lgbt folk in Russia, etc then you will know what authoritariaism - the term you band about somewhat lightly - is all about.

There is no shortage of noble causes to engage with, and take to the street to protest, especially as there is not so much else to do now. I just fear this is not one of them.
The plight of those people started somewhere, perhaps it is better to head authoritarianism off before it get to that point?
 

221129

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I respect fully suggest you read accounts of Hong Kong street protestors, native tribes in the Amazon, lgbt folk in Russia, etc then you will know what authoritariaism - the term you band about somewhat lightly - is all about.

There is no shortage of noble causes to engage with, and take to the street to protest, especially as there is not so much else to do now. I just fear this is not one of them.
So because other people have it worse, we are not allowed to object to our own rights being eroded until we get to that point?
 

yorksrob

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I respect fully suggest you read accounts of Hong Kong street protestors, native tribes in the Amazon, lgbt folk in Russia, etc then you will know what authoritariaism - the term you band about somewhat lightly - is all about.

There is no shortage of noble causes to engage with, and take to the street to protest, especially as there is not so much else to do now. I just fear this is not one of them.

The uptick of authoritarianism across the world is all the more reason to be extra vigilant at home.

The cavalier attitude to ordinary democratic procedures and civil liberties shown by this Government and its SAGE cheerleaders should certainly be cause for concern.
 

Cdd89

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As I am half Dutch I too am surprised by the response over there, but also it may explain why the government there were so hesitant to impose stringent measures. Speaking to my family over there, there has never been an appetite for ever more draconian measures, though they did accept the ones implemented (eg restaurant closures) as necessary.

Unlike the U.K., the Netherlands’ “lockdown” didn’t include a stay-at-home element (which in my view makes it not a lockdown, but obviously there debate over definitions!).

The new curfew is the first attempt to introduce this kind of thing, and clearly it hasn’t gone down well.

Reading the BBC, however:

That sense of exceptionalism, or "nuchterheid" - sobriety or level-headedness - has come back to haunt them. Here we are almost a year on. Countries that went hard are enjoying greater freedoms. People look across the border to Belgium where schools have reopened, while here they're closed till at least 9 February.

I suppose that’s a potential alternative explanation, that people are angry the government didn’t go harder sooner. It’s not the one I’d attribute to unrest in response to tightening restrictions though.
 

Bikeman78

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As I am half Dutch I too am surprised by the response over there, but also it may explain why the government there were so hesitant to impose stringent measures. Speaking to my family over there, there has never been an appetite for ever more draconian measures, though they did accept the ones implemented (eg restaurant closures) as necessary.

Unlike the U.K., the Netherlands’ “lockdown” didn’t include a stay-at-home element (which in my view makes it not a lockdown, but obviously there debate over definitions!).

The new curfew is the first attempt to introduce this kind of thing, and clearly it hasn’t gone down well.

Reading the BBC, however:



I suppose that’s a potential alternative explanation, that people are angry the government didn’t go harder sooner. It’s not the one I’d attribute to unrest in response to tightening restrictions though.
I can't believe that the Dutch seem to think that Belgium has been a success! But this does seem to show that if you push people far enough, eventually they will snap.
 

Yew

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I suppose that’s a potential alternative explanation, that people are angry the government didn’t go harder sooner. It’s not the one I’d attribute to unrest in response to tightening restrictions though.
Indeed, the myth that locking down a week or two earlier would have been enough to give us a New Zealand scenario widespread in social media.
 

yorksrob

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Indeed, the myth that locking down a week or two earlier would have been enough to give us a New Zealand scenario widespread in social media.

Indeed, it's almost as widespread as the "if only everyone followed the rules, the virus would go away" myth.
 

PeterY

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Sadly I think it's just a matter of time here. I did see the BBC news this morning and I was surprised they were allowed to show what went on in the Netherlands. It will give us UK citizens ideas .
 

squizzler

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The plight of those people started somewhere, perhaps it is better to head authoritarianism off before it get to that point?
In that instance (several other posts in this vein) you would expect the pushback against Covid measures being led by people who escaped from oppressive regimes who inform the debate with their first hand experience. I don’t see that. Going by the telegraph I read every day that has become something of a Covid contrarian hotbed, they seem to be predominantly people like myself: white, fairly well off and comfortable.
 
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