london lockdown protest 26 september
Demonstrators descended on London for the second straight weekend to air their disapproval of the coronavirus guidelines, with police warning they will break up the rally if protesters don't follow social distancing rules.

Several thousand protesters assembled at Trafalgar Square on Saturday, with some eyewitnesses claiming that attendance was even higher than the turnout at a similar event held last weekend.

Demonstrators held signs, waved British flags and cheered as speakers addressed the crowd. At one point the crowd could be heard chanting "freedom" as people whistled and clapped.

The protest, dubbed We Do Not Consent, received a warning from the Metropolitan Police, which said it would intervene if the protesters don't abide by social distancing guidelines.

Footage from RT's video agency, Ruptly, shows the square packed with people, most of them without masks.

Toby Young, General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, expressed hope that law enforcement would allow the group to protest "as they did with [Extinction Rebellion] and BLM," he tweeted.

Last Saturday more than 30 people were arrested after police engaged in a shoving match with demonstrators.

The UK government has faced considerable criticism for imposing strict new rules in September purportedly put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19. People are now barred from meeting in groups larger than six, and citizens face large fines if they refuse to self-quarantine when ordered to do so by public health officials. Restaurants and pubs were recently instructed to stop serving customers at 10pm. The country has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases, but the uptick has not led to a noticeable rise in deaths.

Please tread on us!

However, the UK's Telegraph newspaper published a new poll at the same time, which told a different story.

While the protesters demanded a return to normality, 63 percent of the 2,000 Britons surveyed said that the government's new lockdown measures — announced last week — hadn't gone far enough. According to the survey, 51 percent favor an instant shutdown of gyms and beauty salons to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Comment: That so many back such nonsensical and tyrannical measures may only really tell us that government hsytericization leaves many unable to think critically.

Despite the demonstrations in London, another poll, this one by YouGov, found last week that 78 percent of Brits support Johnson's new restrictions, with 45 percent saying they don't go far enough.

However, the protesters in Trafalgar Square aren't the only people speaking out against the lockdown. A study published in the Heart medical journal on Friday and presented to the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) predicted that Johnson's lockdowns would cause 75,000 preventable deaths over the next five years.

Comment: Therein lies the proof of how confused those polled are, because these preventable deaths, caused by the lockdown, easily exceed those related to coronavirus, and so the British public are actually voting for the least effective and most deadly option.

The study revealed that 16,000 people died of non-Covid causes in care homes and hospitals in March and April alone, and predicted another 26,000 deaths within a year, if people continue to avoid hospitals. Furthermore, it claimed that 31,900 people could die over the next five years due to missed cancer diagnoses, cancelled operations, and the health impacts of a looming economic recession.

Days before Johnson unveiled the new restrictions, more than two dozen top UK scholars and scientists penned an open letter to the PM, calling the government's goal of suppressing the virus until a vaccine arrives "increasingly unfeasible," and demanding restrictions be lifted for all but the most vulnerable sectors of society.

Comment: It's unlikely that this open letter received as much press as the 'rising number of cases', because the majority of the British press aren't out to inform but to convey a particular message as directed by the government.

The coronavirus has killed nearly 42,000 people in the UK and infected 423,000. Though new cases of Covid-19 have surged upwards since August, deaths remain low. 6,874 new cases were reported on Friday, along with 34 deaths.

Privatised pandemic?

Britons who downloaded the newly-released NHS coronavirus app were shocked to learn that they could not submit test results from a National Health Service hospital or government-run lab, defeating the entire purpose of the app.

Released two days ago, the mobile application was hailed as an effective way of monitoring and containing the spread of coronavirus. An aggressive marketing campaign was launched to encourage citizens to enroll in the voluntary track and trace program, but it now appears that the app may be less useful than originally advertised.

"If your test took place in a Public Health England or NHS Hospital, or as part of national surveillance testing conducted by the Office of National Statistics, test results cannot currently be linked with the app whether positive or negative," read a message from the app's official Twitter account.

The stunning admission means that more than 60,000 tests administered on Friday in hospitals and PHE labs don't come with codes and aren't compatible with the app, Sky News reported.

The glaring oversight means that those who test negative at an NHS facility will be unable to inform the app that they don't have the virus, and as a result, even healthy people will be ordered to self-quarantine.

Comment: It also means that the data tracking the virus is in the hands of a privatised company with little to no public oversight nor obligation. Can such data really be trusted? Can people trust their data with this company?

A Department of Health spokesman said they were working to fix the issue, but noted that the test status would be automatically updated if the test is booked through the app.

The error seems to have galvanized opposition lawmakers who have been critical of the Tory government's response to the health crisis. Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth expressed bafflement at the app's flaw.

"[H]ave they really launched an app that doesn't actually link to tests carried out by NHS hospital labs & PHE labs instead only including tests carried out via the outsourced lighthouse lab network??" he asked.

Users wondered if the government has "privatised a pandemic."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier praised the new mobile phone app as an "important step forward" in the country's fight against the virus. The app asks people to enter a code that they receive after being tested, which is used to identify whether the individual tested positive or not. Users are asked to self-isolate for two weeks if they test positive or if the app determines they have come in close contact with someone with the virus.