- The Facts: Thousands of restaurants appear to have opened in Italy in defiance of the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown regulations.
- Reflect On: Are governments doing the right thing? What does the data about lockdowns say? Is it causing more harm than good? Is it having any impact at all on the spread of COVID-19? What are and have been the consequences of lockdown?
What Happened: Despite no mainstream media coverage, people are starting to become aware of what seems to be a mass civil disobedience campaign in Italy against lockdown measures (#IoApro). An estimated 50,000 bars, restaurants and other businesses are defying government orders and are remaining open to the public, together. We cannot confirm the exact number. UK journalist Damian Wilson writes, “if the number of 50,000 establishments currently on board is to be believed, it’s a movement growing by the day.”
EuroNews is one of the few outlets on the scene providing coverage.
One frustrated restaurateur said the move was as “a polite protest” and another“civil disobedience”, as they invited customers to dine on Friday night despite measures put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19. Armando Minotti, owner of Loste Ria restaurant in the south of the city, said “we cannot go on this way” – recent losses were making it impossible to provide for his children and he said government financial aid wasn’t enough. “Let’s call this a polite protest. If the guards come in, and they surely will, we will let them in, we will accept the fine but we are going to stay open and we won’t close any more. Because it is impossible to go on like this,” he added. Across the city, pizzas were churned out of the ovens at Fuoco & Farina where owner Max Vietri admitted to seeing the action as “civil disobedience”.
People sit at a restaurant as bars and restaurants reopen in ‘yellow zones’ of Italy after the government relaxed some of the coronavirus disease curbs on weekdays following a strict lockdown over the holidays, in Rome, Italy January 7, 2021. © REUTERS/Yara Nardi
A popular hashtag is also providing information from various social media users who are uploading articles and videos. The hashtag is #IoApro. If you view this hashtag on twitter, you can see some pretty large protests. As the #IoApro (I am open) momentum builds, politicians like Vittorio Sgarbi are supporting the restaurants with a message against the rules in which he urges establishments, “Open up and don’t worry, in the end we will make them eat their fines.”
Why This Is Important: Whether you are a world renowned scientist, doctor, academic, journalist, politician, or anybody for that matter who opposes government lockdown measures as a way to combat COVID-19, you’re going to face the consequences. In Ontario, Canda, for example, a member of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s caucus was fired for speaking out against his own government’s policies and calling for an end to the province-wide pandemic lockdown. “The lockdown isn’t working,” wrote York Centre Progressive Conservative MPP Roman Baber in a letter to Ford. “It’s causing an avalanche of suicides, overdoses, bankruptcies, divorces and takes an immense toll on our children. Dozens of leading doctors implored you to end the lockdowns.” (source)
Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)
If you’re a public figure in such a position as Barber was, you face losing your job. If you’re a scientist or a doctor, you risk losing your social media accounts for sharing your opinion, and if you’re an independent media outlet like Collective Evolution, you risk having your life’s work deleted from popular social media platforms. But that still hasn’t stopped information from spreading.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. – Kamran Abbas, Executive Editor of the British Medical Journal, and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. (soure)
Four professors from Stanford School of Medicine have published a paper showing that lockdowns, stay at home orders and business closures are not an effective tool for stopping the spread of COVID. There are many studies claiming the same. You can access that study hereand read more about the harms of lockdown, its consequences and its supposed ability to stop the spread of COVID. There are dozens upon dozens of studies providing data that argue against lockdown measures.
Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician and epidemiologist where the initiators of the The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration has an impressive list co-signers, and has also now been signed by more than 50,000 doctors and scientists and more than 700,000 concerned citizens, which is pretty impressive given the fact that it’s received no attention from mainstream media. It explains why they oppose lockdown measures. Follow their twitter account here.
The point is, one perspective is dominating the mainstream media and political circles, while the other is being censored, ignored, and ridiculed by these powerful platforms. This alone has been a catalyst for many people to question what exactly is going on here, and that’s always a positive thing.
The Takeaway: Do we really want to live in a world where questioning actions taken by our governments, and whether or not they are in our best interest, can be shut down and discouraged? Is this not the responsibility of all people? Do governments actually represent the will of the people these days? Or do they represent other agendas? Why are we all so polarized in our beliefs? Can we not see the perspective of another and try to understand why they feel the way they do? Does this mean freedom of choice should always remain, and that governments should simply make recommendations and allow people to do as they please? When measures become unacceptable in the eyes of many, is the only solution mass, peaceful civil disobedience? What else can be done in this situation for all those who are suffering the consequences of lockdown measures? Can the mainstream media make the majority seem like the minority, and the minority seem like the majority?