Anti-vaxxer group holding mass gatherings across UK with picnics and live music this weekend – The Sun

ANTI-VACCINATION protesters are advertising mass gatherings against the "unlawful" coronavirus lockdown this weekend.

Posters urge demonstrators to join the UK Freedom Movement (UKFM) with picnics and live music across Britain on Saturday as police warn people to not attend.

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The UK Freedom Movement are "anti-vaxxers" opposed to child vaccinations, with claims some of the organisers are conspiracy theorists.

Flyers are advertising demos in London, Southampton, Nottingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Plymouth and Barnstaple in Devon.

Posters circulating on social media boast the events will be the "largest mass gathering since the lockdown".

The group's UK Mass Gathering posters read: "We say no to the coronavirus bill, no to mandatory vaccines, no to the new normal and no to the unlawful lockdown."


Police forces around the UK are taking the posters seriously ahead of this weekend.

Nottinghamshire Police says they have "contingency" plans to deal with any demos, while Hampshire Police say they are "reviewing" the flyers.

People are being encouraged to gather in parks at eight locations from 12pm and "bring a picnic, some music and let's have some fun and say yes to life".

Britain's lockdown was eased slightly this week, with people allowed to meet one person from outside their home, in the open and from two metres distance.

The moves, which came in place today, comes as the death toll in the UK rose to 33, 186, with 494 more deaths from the virus.

But mass gatherings such as sporting events and concerts are still banned under Covid-19 Government advice.


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Downing Street banned mass gatherings on March 16, a week before the lockdown was rolled out across the UK.

Speaking this week, Boris Johnson said urged people struggling to cope with the lockdown to use "British common sense" as the rules were relaxed slightly.

But there are fears at the mounting economic impact of the lockdown, with 6.5 million laid-off workers being paid by the government on furlough and two million more claiming Universal Credit.

And there have been signs restless Brits appear to be starting to tire of the restrictions after being cooped up for more than a month, with roads busier and people flocking to garden centres today.

Earlier this month, a group of mums occupied a playground in protest of the ongoing lockdown, sparking fury from NHS workers.

We say no to the coronavirus bill, no to mandatory vaccines, no to the new normal and no to the unlawful lockdown

A Facebook group advertising the UKFM Plymouth meeting said it has "serious concerns in regards to our human rights and liberties' during the crisis".

It claims the UK government has "left people from all walks of life to question the lawfulness and effectiveness of this 'lockdown'."

It added: "Whether you are anti-5G, anti-vaxx, anti-tyranny, would like to keep your human rights and freedoms or simply fancy a day out and a break from this lockdown, get yourself to Central Park, May 16 from 12pm."

People planning to attend were told: "Social distancing and masks are welcomed if you wish to do so. Please do not ridicule anyone for wearing a mask as we are all at different stages of belief in regards to this 'virus'."

The planned UK demos follow events by protesters gathering to demand an end to the US lockdown.

Demos were held in cities across the US, with protesters  – some of them armed – accusing officials of exaggerating the scale of the pandemic.

They insisted stay-at-home orders were crippling the economy and have cost at least 22million jobs.

In Colorado, healthcare workers clashed with anti-lockdown protesters by standing in front of the cars of demonstrators who flocked to call for an end to the state's shutdown.

And medics in Arizona, Phoenix confronted demonstrators at a Patriot Day's Rally as they demanded the lockdown was ended.


Police officers in the UK are aware of the planned events this weekend and vowed to "take positive action to protect the public".

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "We are currently reviewing information we have received regarding a mass gathering being organised in Southampton this coming weekend.

"We are really grateful to those who contacted us about this and we will continue to assess the information we have in the coming days."

Nottinghamshire Police chief constable Craig Guildford said: "We are aware of the social media coverage which includes Southampton, London and Cardiff as well.

"We are planning, as a contingency, with our partners in the city council as we monitor the situation.

"Should any individual endanger the public by not obeying social distancing the police at the scene will be taking positive action to protect the public."

Nottingham councillor Steve Battlemuch, for Wollaton West, added: 'The council are aware of it.

"We don't particularly want to give a lot of publicity to the event.

"Everybody is concerned overall about the virus and the lockdown. People want to get back to a normal way of life but we are not in that situation at the moment."

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