Protesters shouted “I want my life back” and held up signs with slogans such as “Protect constitutional rights,” “Freedom isn’t everything but without freedom, everything is nothing,” and “Daddy, what is a kiss?” Police said on Twitter they had arrested more than 100 people.
Some protesters tried to keep a distance from each other, sitting on the ground and wearing masks, but others clustered together.
Like dozens of countries around the globe, strict guidelines have been enacted on public activity to slow transmission of COVID-19, imposing its lockdown on March 17. The protesters handed out newspapers entitled “Democratic Resistance,” which said the new coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear. The papers quoted 127 doctors from around the world who question the need for strict lockdowns.A Police spokesman said permission had been granted for a flyer distribution campaign, but authorities had not granted permission for a public demonstration.
“According to state emergency declarations, we are obliged to prevent a gathering,” a spokesman said, adding 180 police officers were on duty.
A State Court ruled earlier this month that people have the right to hold demonstrations if they adhere to social distancing rules after activists brought a case that argued that the lockdown breaches freedom of assembly.
On Saturday, some protesters sat peacefully on the ground at a distance from each other, holding white roses in reference to the White Rose resistance movement against the Nazis in Germany. “We are here today … to stand up for our opinion. For the protection of constitutional rights, freedom, and above all freedom of speech,” said a woman holding a rose who gave her name only as Sandra.
This story actually came from a German newspaper and is about the demonstrations and protests currently underway in Germany! That story eerily parallels what could easily be an exact story about the United States. Are there any ties there?
There is so much of this type of protest going on around the world, it’s hard to accept that each is about a specific nation’s issues addressing COVID-19 and its fallouts in each. But in the case of Germany, it appears that the German people are taking plays from U.S. workers playbook on protests. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Either way, citizens of at least these two countries are facing similar horrors at the hand of the virus — or is it the fault of COVID-19?
Who Is In Control?
If we only knew! Is it possible that there is someone who is maybe not actually pulling these strings, but might be coordinating the pulling? Don’t take this the wrong way: I am NOT claiming there is any such coordination nor is this a conspiracy theory. But in numerous countries around the world, similar protests are underway for the same reasons.
Let’s be perfectly clear: I don’t know of any of these protests that are actually protesting COVID-19. Covid-19 is NOT the culprit. There’s no doubt it is “a,” if not “the” major player in all this. But the disease is NOT locking down the citizens of Germany, Hong Kong, the U.S. or Kyiv. Protests are underway in India and Lebanon.
Protests have been ongoing in Colombia since November 2019 against a range of proposed economic and political reforms. While they stopped in January 2020, following the outbreak of coronavirus, they appear to have started once again. Since March 24, Colombia has been under lockdown, first starting at city levels and expanding across the country.
France has been under lockdown since March 17 to curb the spread of COVID-19 and amid the global health crisis, the news of riots in a Paris suburb that occurred on March 18 may have slipped under the radar. Paris has become accustomed to the “yellow-vest” demonstrations of which some turn violent. It was natural for those to morph into protests against France for lockdowns regarding the virus.
Is it just a coincidence that all these countries along with others find themselves not only dealing with a health crisis but a crisis that involves their citizens protesting? Sometimes protests turn violent as a result of their governments’ attacks on the economies of their nation in the name of beating a virus.
Usually, when something like this happens in places that appear to be unattached there are some connections. But I have no idea if any or all of these have some ties to the others or, if so, with whom and why they are related in some way.
Why is The Anger so Threatening?
That’s the easiest question to answer. Peoples’ lives have been turned upside down by those who are supposed to make sure everything is OK. And when the entity that is chosen to do that suddenly becomes the entity that shuts down the economic life source for everyone one of their citizens, tempers quickly boil over.
It’s the same across the Globe.
But the protests while are partly due to economic reasons, most of these countries are democratic or some combination of democracy and socialist in their governments. Their populace is accustomed to working in jobs and being paid for their work. And their pay allows them to survive, paying necessary amounts for their families to make it. Through no choice of their own — no election and therefore no authorization of shutdowns — citizens find themselves with no jobs and no way to make it financially without government assistance. And turning to federal governments for that assistance leaves bad tastes in everyone’s mouth.
That’s why the populace in these countries have resorted to demonstrations and sometimes even protests: to have their lives restored. In each of these countries impacted there have been numerous epidemics of various sorts through the years, none of which has forced these total lockdowns that are in place today.
The U.S. is NOT the only such country whose citizens have Constitutional rights that preclude governments from arbitrarily taking the lockdown and quarantine actions that have been put in place. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ensures that Americans’ right to free speech and to assemble will be unilaterally maintained “by the People.” And the state governments seem to have weaponized the coronavirus against its own citizens.
We didn’t see that happen in the Spanish flu, the HIV epidemic, H1N1 flu, or any other epidemic. So why now?
Any answer here is totally subjective. We may be given an answer or some answers to the “why” question. But we don’t know right now.
What we DO know is that our government at the federal level and at state levels had better act quickly to get these skirmishes resolved before protestors create an environment that can easily escalate and create real problems for many people.
What exacerbates the problem is that none of the “experts” can give solid and believable information about the virus and how to defeat it. Having so many die with only guesses for answers just lights the fires of fear and anguish. That must be stopped.
It’s horrible but typical of many in government to shed any responsibility or any of this and point to President Trump when blamed by the People. In fairness, at its inception, those same people were prosecuting him for abuse of power! But even while that was happening he established the White House task force to spearhead the quick building of a response team with all the “experts” that Democrats demanded he brings to the fray already in place. Unilaterally he quickly through executive order closed our borders to any travel from China. Such is only rare exceptions. Democrats, on the other hand, in all of January and the first week of February this year dealt with one and only one matter: the impeachment of the President. The House of Representatives were allowed by Speaker Pelosi to take up any coronavirus matters until February 5 — 6-days after Trump closed our borders to travelers from China. They were too busy attacking him first in impeachment and then for racism and xenophobia on his part for the China travel ban. Their own experts would state that Trump’s actions doing so saved thousands of U.S. lives.
Will we discover who, what, and why for all this? I hope we do, but not for the purpose of blaming someone politically. We need to find out the causes and the “caus-ers” so we can confront all those involved and implement processes to assure it will never happen again.
Shame on any Americans who are scrounging for the answer just to use for ammunition about their counterparts! We’re a better nation than that. Let’s while we’re looking for those answers continue to find ways to restart our economy and quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible to put Americans back on the job! Unless we find ways and find ways quickly to do that, our nation as we know it is doomed.
But in retrospect, that may be the actual objective of those who continue to want division and animus in our political atmosphere, knowing it will spill out into the streets and perpetuate the atmosphere. Nothing but further division can possibly result from that scenario.
Who’s responsible? Don’t look to others for those answers: Watch the players in all this. They’ll give you a sign — the proof — of who’s making it happen.
We need that to happen immediately!