On Saturday 24 July, anti-vaxxer and anti-lockdown protesters gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square. Yes, peaceful protest is everyone’s right. But life-threatening comments, comparing NHS staff to Nazis, are not. And calling such remarks “utterly appalling” or depraved doesn’t even cover it. Because no amount of condemnation is enough.
“Anti-vaxxer condemned for comparing NHS to Nazis at Trafalgar Square rally”
“The mayor of London Sadiq Khan describes Kate Shemirani’s comments as ‘utterly appalling”https://t.co/6q4Fh7Q2sz
— Labour Left Grassroots (@LabGrassroots) July 25, 2021
However, an outpouring of support for NHS staff was the ideal way to respond to such hate.
And it was overwhelming…
At Saturday’s rally, disgraced nurse Kate Shemirani made hate-filled comments about NHS staff. Shemirani has been struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council register because she:
attempted to encourage people to act contrary to public health guidance issued by the UK government by spreading this information through social media platforms and at public events.
She bellowed (with a certain 1930s tone in her voice):
Ask those that are giving it (the vaccine), has there been any deaths? Ask them what is in it. Ask them, get their names, you email them to me … with a group of lawyers we are collating all that.
At the Nuremberg trials, the doctors and nurses stood trial, and they hung.
Footage of Shemirani’s rant began to circulate on social media. But a combination of shock and support motivated people to get behind the heroes of the pandemic:
— sharney cat 💙 (@tommy_pipsqueak) July 25, 2021
This is what NHS staff woke up to this morning. A rally talking about hanging doctors and nurses. This has caused considerable distress amongst NHS staff.
If you’re still behind NHS staff please tweet with the hashtag #gotyourbackNHS.
Let’s show staff they are appreciated 🙏🏻 https://t.co/EZVJUHdQHg
— NHS Million 💙 (@NHSMillion) July 24, 2021
— Akhil Vyas (@10akhil) July 25, 2021
That old chestnut
As can happen when you engage in a discussion with coronavirus (Covid-19) deniers, you’re often left dumb-founded by their response. And one question you often hear is ‘do you know anybody who has died from it?’.
Well, this doctoral researcher came up with the ideal response. She tweeted:
I've seen a few tweets recently from some people who don't know anyone who died of Covid, so don't think it exists.
I don't know anyone who died in a plane crash.
— Jen 🐇😷💙 (@Jennyflower) July 24, 2021
This is on the government
As reported by The Canary, this government has treated NHS staff disgracefully. The derisory 3% pay increase demonstrates that perfectly. And instead of supporting the NHS and its staff, it appears the Tories want to sell it off.
There is without doubt a large number of people attending anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination rallies. But attendance isn’t necessarily an endorsement of all the ludicrous claims from the vocally ignorant who take centre stage. Also, perhaps government and mainstream media played a part in the fuelling of such claims.
It’s more likely that these large numbers are a reflection of an inept Tory response to the pandemic. And it’s a callous response that puts profit before people. So rather than spreading hate and unfounded conspiracy theories, maybe the conspiracy merchants could focus on the government’s failures. And maybe for once, the government could take responsibility for its neglect of the NHS and disrespect of its staff.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?