Protest outside Serco HQ in December 2021

5 December Day of Action round-up

Online rally:

  • Larissa Kennedy, NUS president
  • Roger Lewis, DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts)
  • Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, endcoronavirus.org 
  • Dr David Strain, BMA (pc)
  • Livestreams from protests

Followed by Q&A

In Manchester a rally was held in Piccadilly Gardens.

Dr Emma Runswick joined the online rally and told us:

We’ve heard today from lots of speakers about what we need to do to reduce the number of deaths in this country and to prevent further pandemics from happening, as well as to reduce the effect on the economy.

We’ve talked about support for isolation, which is still woefully lacking. We’ve heard how in the north-west where testing pilots have happened lots of people have been denied the support they need to self-isolate financially and practically.

If you don’t have the money to order your shopping online, you will go to the store. If you don’t have the money to not go to work, you will go to work.

In parts of Liverpool testing uptake has been as low as 4 percent because people can’t afford to know the result.

In Wellingborough supporters of ZeroCovid protested outside the office of Tory MP Peter Bone.

We held a small but determined and well organised protest in Wellingborough – socially distanced and all wearing masks – outside the offices of our MP, Peter Bone.

We received good support, but most people were intrigued as to why we were standing in the freezing cold on a Saturday morning.

We nevertheless got our message across – for a strategy that will eliminate Covid-19 in the long term and save thousands of lives, irrespective that a welcome vaccine is on its way (but may be still some months away for most people).

Our call for full compensation for those who have been badly hit by the necessity to isolate form work or close their businesses was also welcome. We will be back soon.

In Preston Zero Covid supporters got signatories for a petition and displayed facts and figures about Covid-19 and the Government’s handling of it for passers-by to safely read.

Zero Covid Scotland protested outside the new UK Government offices in Edinburgh.

In this video activists explain their reasons for braving the rain and cold.
 
One of the reasons we need Zero Covid is that it’s not just about reducing the prevalence of virus to a level which protects people’s health. It’s also about finding ways of living which look to the future and which tackle both the threat of further pandemics and the climate crisis.

In London we protested outside the offices of contracting giant Serco. 

We demanded that Serco get out of the Test and Trace system. Their profits have skyrocketed while they’ve failed to deliver. 

An effective Test and Trace system, extended to support those isolating, is at the heart of the #ZeroCovid strategy. It’s how we break the cycle of restrictions. Yet the Test and Trace system overseen by ex TalkTalk boss Dido Harding and outsourced in large part to private sector firms such as Serco has cost £22bn so far and is a total failure.

We called on the Government to replace the discredited private test and trace system with one based locally: on council, NHS and public health structures, recruiting contact tracers locally and introducing backwards tracing to find sources of infection.

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The Morning Star daily newspaper led with a story ‘Time for a Zero Covid Strategy’ on Monday 7 December.

 NURSES, doctors, trade unionists and health campaigners staged a National Day of Action across Britain over the weekend against the government’s catastrophic Covid-19 policies.

In London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Sheffield, Wellingborough and other areas on Saturday, protesters slammed the government’s “learning to live with the virus” approach and demanded a “Zero Covid Strategy.”

They said the “best Christmas present” PM Boris Johnson could give is to replace the “failed” three-tier system of restrictions.

Protesters’ demands include replacement of the government’s £12 billion “discredited private test and trace system” with one based around council, NHS and public health structures — and excluding private firms such as outsourcing company Serco.

They also called for more effective restrictions, better pay for people isolating and/or unable to work, fully compensated closure of non-essential workplaces and proper safety measures in workplaces that remain open.

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