Western protest against vaccinations surprising - GulfToday

Western protest against vaccinations surprising

Protest against Covid vaccine.

Protesters marched in Sydney against lockdown. Reuters

It is a strange phenomenon that we are witnessing in the so-called First World of Advanced Economies (AEs) and developed societies, stretching from Austria to Australia, the Netherlands and France.

Even as there is a Covid-19 resurgence in many parts of Europe, and the governments in those countries are forced to imposed restrictions and partial lockdowns to combat the pandemic, people are pouring onto the streets, protesting the restrictions meant for their own safety and refusing to be vaccinated.

For nearly a century we have heard the taunt in the Western media that Third World undeveloped countries, bogged down by superstition and lack of modern medical infrastructure, are forced to suffer from epidemics and other diseases. And there was talk about educating and enlightening the people of Asia and Africa about scientific attitude about medicine. It turns out that most Asian countries have managed to vaccinate a significant segment of their populations, with China and India with their billion plus populations, managing to administer the first of the two doses to eligible adults. And many of the other countries with less population have vaccinated the entire eligible population. And when the restrictions were placed by the governments for medical reasons the people understood its need and complied. In contrast, people in most European countries and the United States are resisting vaccination and refusing to abide by the restrictions.

Netherlands had imposed three weeks of curbs while Austria declared a partial nationwide lockdown.

There was rioting in the port city of Rotterdam, and protests in Amsterdam and The Hague, and in Vienna, the capital of Austria. In Rotterdam, protesters clashed with police, and threw stones and fireworks at the police, and set bicycles on fire on Saturday.

Protesters in the Netherlands were angry that Prime Minister Mark Rutte planned to exclude unvaccinated people from bars and restaurants. Joost Era, a protest organiser said, “We want to live…” opposing the prime minister’s plan. In Vienna, forty thousand protesters poured into the streets, and the protest call was given by the far-right party, FPO.

The protesters carried a banner saying, “Corona dictatorship” and one of the protesters, 42-yeqar-old Katarina Gierscher, a schoolteacher, who travelled six hours to join the rally said, “It’s not normal that the government deprives us of our rights.”

The protesters also wore yellow star with the words “not vaccinated” written on it, a reminder of the Star of David that the Jews were forced to during the Nazi era.

Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer called it an insult to the families of victims of Nazi regime. There were protests in Zagreb in Croatia and Copenhagen in Denmark.

In Copenhagen protesters cried out “Freedom for Denmark”. The protests in Sydney in Australia were also supported by right-wing politicians. It seems to be the case that anti-science right-wing groups in the West are confused and angry about Covid-19 and the medical remedy being offered through vaccines.

It comes as a surprise that people living in advanced industrial societies are opposed to science though it is the fruits of science and technology that makes their lives so much better than those living in the other parts of the world.

The superstition and the blind anger is a reflection of the fact that a large section of the mindset of the people is stuck in a pre-modern and a pre-scientific era. This could be traced to the rising rightist surge in many parts of the West from Americas through Europe to Australia.

In Asia and Africa, the people are ready to embrace the breakthroughs of modern medicine and benefit from them, and the irony is that it is these people who do not have access to science and technology and the delivery systems.

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