The opposition New Democratic Party, trade unions and other concerned citizens came together yesterday for a protest action in capital Kingstown during the sitting of Parliament on a number of issues, specifically against proposed changes to the country’s public health laws.
In a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister last Friday, it was noted that the Public Health Amendment Bill 2021 does not make mandatory or compulsory the vaccination or testing of persons in respect of Covid-19. It was however expressed the intention of the government to make rules under the Public Health Act to require certain categories of employees in the public sector (central government or state enterprises) to take the vaccine in order to work in specified “frontline” jobs.
Among the protesters yesterday were some frontline workers who are opposed to the changes to the Public Health Amendment Act which will require them to get vaccinated.
A number of nurses who are considered frontline workers heeded the call of their union to be part of today’s protest action. Several of them told our news team they felt compelled to stand up for their rights.
The nurses said they are not afraid of discrimination as they will continue to stand up for freedom of choice.
A male nurse made it clear he is not anti -vax as he took the jab already however he said he is opposed to making vaccines mandatory for nurses and other frontline workers.
Opposition Leader addresses protestors
During the afternoon break of parliament, opposition leader Dr. Godwin Friday came out to address the crowd which was observed to be the largest of protests in recent times.
He told the protesters that he opposed the Public Health Amendment Bill 2021 noting that some adjustments were made but it is still unacceptable.
Dr. Friday also cleared the air on his position on vaccination noting that he is not opposed to vaccines but opposed to making vaccines mandatory.
Throughout the day, the protesters walked through the streets of capital Kingstown chanting “kill d bill” and blowing horns.
A number of van drivers from the Belair area pulled off the road and joined the protesters through the streets.