Hundreds of thousands of British citizens marched in central London on May 29, 2021 in a “Unite for Freedom” rally to protest against the government’s COVID-19 lockdowns, vaccine passports and other pandemic-related regulations and restrictions.1 2 Chanting “no more lockdowns” and “take your freedom back,” protesters later gathered at the Westfield shopping center, which was temporarily shut down.
Holding signs that said, “We do not consent,” and “You have no power over us” and “we’re not guinea pigs” and “Say NO to lockdowns, masks, vaccine passports” and “My body, my choice,” the Guardian quoted one protester as saying:3
We’re campaigning for a medical freedom bill which would prevent any coercion and any discrimination for not partaking in a medical procedure, because where there’s that, there can’t be fair and informed consent. Once we lose our medical freedom, there is no saying if and when we will get it back and where this slippery slope could take us.
The protesters covered London buses in stickers with messages like “Wake Up” and “Stay Free” and “Resist the Great Reset” and “Stop Kids Vax – Unsafe, Ineffective” and “The Media Is the Virus” and “Truth Will Win.” The Guardian described the event as “a mass march of about 12 miles through London, starting at Parliament Square and reaching as far west as Acton. At its height there appeared to be hundreds of thousands of people taking part.”
Throughout the peaceful demonstration, police urged protesters to go home. It ended with four arrests.
Four Experimental COVID-19 Vaccines Approved for Distribution in Britain
The protest against pandemic lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccine passports that would prevent participation in society without proof of vaccination was held one day after Johnson & Johnson’s single dose human adenovirus vectored experimental COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) within three months of being submitted for approval. According to New Scientist, the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen genetically engineered COVID-19 vaccine is “67 percent effective overall in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19.” The U.K. has ordered 20 million doses of the vaccine.4
British government health officials previously approved the two dose experimental mRNA COVID -19 vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/NIAID and the two dose AstraZeneca, Oxford University genetically engineered chimpanzee adenovirus vectored vaccine. In early April 2021, spokespersons for Oxford University and the Drug Safety Research Unit in Britain acknowledged that the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222) could be linked to “rare blood clots” and temporarily paused a clinical trial of the vaccine that included children aged six to 17 years old.5 On May 5, 2021, the British Medical Journal published a study that found increased rates of blood clots in veins, or “venous thromboembolism,” in people who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID vaccine compared to blood clot rates in the broader population.6
Distrust in COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
Both the J&J/Janssen and AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines have been associated with blood clots and low platelet counts.7 The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has ruled that the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and AstraZeneca/Oxford University adenovirus vectored vaccines are “safe” but should come with a clear warning that both vaccines have been associated with blood clots and low blood platelet counts (ITP or immune thrombocytopenic purpura).8 On May 21, 2021, the EMA said that healthcare providers must be warned that a second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should not be given to anyone who developed blood clots with low platelets after receiving the first dose.9
According to MailOnline, many patients hospitalized with COVID in Britain have still have not gotten vaccinated and tens of thousands of other “vulnerable people” had not been vaccinated. Reasons for refusing the vaccine included fear of needles, distrust of government health officials and concern over the vaccine’s safety related to blood clots.
March 2021 Anti-Lockdown Protests in Britain
On Mar. 29, 2021, The Vaccine Reaction reported on anti-lockdown protests around the world, including in Britain.10 Tens of thousands gathered in London on Mar. 20, 2021 holding banners like “Stop Destroying our Kids Lives” and “Fake Pandemic” as they protested COVID pandemic rules that prohibited groups from gathering together and engaging in public protests for any reason. In March there were also anti-lockdown demonstrations in Newcastle and Manchester, with some demonstrators characterizing the COVID lockdowns as a “crime against humanity.” 11
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1 Parry G. Anti-vaxxers storm Westfield: Protestors clash with police at east London shopping centre causing ‘significant disruption’ as thousands take to capital’s streets claiming the pandemic is a hoax. MailOnline May 29, 2021.
2 Lloyd N. London bus covered with anti-vax stickers as thousands gather for coronavirus protest. Mirror May 29, 2021.
3 Gayle D. Anti-vaccine passport protesters storm Westfield mall in London. The Guardian May 29, 2021.
4 New Scientist. Johnson & Johnson one-shot coronavirus vaccine approved for use in UK. May 28, 2021.
5 Boseley S. Oxford/Astra Zeneca jab could have causal link to rare blood clots, say UK experts. The Guardian Apr. 6, 2021.
6 TVR Staff. Study Finds Higher Risk of Blood Clots with AstraZeneca/Oxford University’s COVID-19 Vaccine. The Vaccine Reaction May 9, 2021.
7 Ricard P. Clot questions over Astra Zeneca and J&J vaccine. Yahoo! Finance Apr. 13, 2021.
8 Andrews L. EU drug regulator rules Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine safe but say single dose jab should come with warning about one-in-a-million blood clot risk. Mail Online Apr. 20, 2021.
9 Reuters. Update 1 – EU advises against second Astra Zeneca shot in people with blood clots. Yahoo Finance May 21, 2021.
10 Fisher BL. Protests Against COVID Lockdowns Flare Up in 2021 Around the World. The Vaccine Reaction Mar. 29, 2021.
11 Gant J, Davies J. Police confront thousands of maskless anti-lockdown protesters in London as MPs call for Priti Patel to allow demonstrations during pandemic in wake of Sarah Everard vigil. Daily Mail Mar. 20, 2021.