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Protests In Europe Rage In Response To Lockdowns And Vaccine Mandates

Photo credit goes to GoToVan on Flickr. A license for this photo can be found here.

People across across the globe have taken to the streets in response to COVID lockdowns and vaccines mandates. The discovery of the Omicron variant and forthcoming COVID “waves” have spurred authorities to reinstate COVID regulation.

Australians, which have seen the world’s strictest COVID policies–like pedestrian vaccine passport checks and quarantine camps–have come out in troves to demonstrate their disproval. Thousands gathered to protest in Sydney over the weekend. Despite the radical COVID regulation, 23% of Australians remain unvaccinated.

Protests raged on in Melbourne, Australia as well. Police estimate the 20,000 were in attendance. Protestors gathered on the steps of parliament before taking to the streets. Demonstrators protested against a new bill that has yet to be voted on–the bill proposes individuals who put others at health risk can be fined $90,500. Businesses are of no exception, and are also subject to hefty fines of $452,500.

France back-pedaled a new vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in the territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique–citizens protested the health ministry’s decision, which lead to violence and several injured police officers. The French authorities have paused the mandate for deliberations and may be reinstated December 15, 2021.

Thousands of Croatians gathered in protest at the capital last week against vaccine passports. Those wishing to enter the country must produce a digital vaccine passport upon entry–or show a negative test. The regulations are in response to Croatia’s spike in cases since October.

Austria recently became the first country in the EU to establish a compulsory COVID vaccine mandate, scheduled to take effect February 1, 2022. Additionally, the country will face another national lockdown over concerns of rising cases and spread of the Omicron variant, which has already been detected in Europe.

Austrians reacted with protests of around 40,000 individuals in Vienna shortly after the announcement.

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