By Chris Sweeney, author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney
British protest group StandUpX is gaining in numbers. They mostly protest restrictive anti-Covid-19 measures, but members also oppose 5G and vaccines, among other things. The overarching belief is that democracy is under threat.
StandUpX made headlines for storming a busy branch of supermarket Morrisons in London recently. This weekend, they have marches planned all over the UK including in London, Birmingham, Bedford, Bournemouth and Norwich.
If you scroll through the group’s Facebook feed, you’ll see the concerns shared by many in the wider British public – the over-reach of Covid-19-related restrictions, the shifting numbers and narratives, the fear of draconian enforcement of mask-wearing and lockdowns – floating in a soup of dubious claims and conspiracy theories, which include anti-vaccine speculations, claims that 5G towers spread viruses, and the denial of the coronavirus’ very existence. The group doesn’t turn anyone away, which could be the reason its numbers appear to be swelling.
RT spoke to senior member and activist Joss – he was part of the incident in Morrisons, but doesn’t want his full name publicized for fear of being targeted.
“We’re a community trying to spread awareness,” he said. “This new normal is being spouted about and we’re told we need to accept it. It was supposed to be a three-week lockdown to flatten the curve. We did that, the hospitals were never overwhelmed, yet here we are 14 weeks later still partially locked down.”
The lockdown doesn’t just worry the StandUpX members. A lot of people don’t like having their entire lives overturned on the orders of a government that has itself demonstrated a very poor understanding of the situation and the science that’s supposed to guide such measures.
“The restrictions are ridiculous and so unnecessary for a virus with such a small death rate. My view is it’s a real virus, but the exaggeration is massive,” Joss says. “They call it a pandemic but pandemics are supposed to take at least five percent of the population and according to Doctor Dan Erickson it only has a 0.03 death rate – it’s a tiny amount and it’s not a pandemic.”
California-based Dr Erickson’s claims were among those removed from YouTube and Facebook and a video of his interview on FoxNews was also taken down due to claims of inaccuracy.