Image: Artivists at Work

Support health worker Karen Reissman – no to the criminalisation of safe protest

Zero Covid is horrified by the £10,000 fine imposed by Greater Manchester Police on Karen Reissman, a mental health nurse who yesterday organised a small, safe, fully masked and strictly socially-distanced rally to protest the insulting 1% pay rise being imposed on the NHS workers who have laboured tirelessly over the past year to keep us safe.

Health and social care workers have risked their lives daily during the pandemic, and there is virtually no risk in a socially-distanced outside protest. Today however, 10 million people are being forced into cramped, poorly ventilated classrooms. Millions more continue to work in unsafe workplaces, where we know there have been at least 3,500 Covid outbreaks.

Roy Wilkes, of Zero Covid, said “A large proportion of the 130,000 deaths in the UK from Covid-19 could have been prevented by Boris Johnson’s government. Its irresponsible roadmap now risks a third wave of the virus. The astronomical deficit is entirely the fault of Rishi Sunak and the rest of the Cabinet, and could have been avoided with a Zero Covid strategy. It is most certainly not the fault of the health workers who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe. This fine isn’t about tackling a situation in which people were put at risk of infection but about preventing safe protest and criminalising dissent.”

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