‘Freedom’ protests a worry
Over the past two weeks, on a Wednesday evening, I've driven past a small gathering of protesters near the Gladstone Road bridge.
These cheerful individuals look like they are having a really nice time hanging out together waving what look like the back of real estate signs with some really funny slogans on them, including: “Free to be free”, “Free to parent” and “Free to be me”.
Almost all these “freedom” protesters appear to be Maori.
I drive past shaking my head.
Who is telling these happy sign wavers they are not free to parent, or be themselves, or know they are free?
What bothers me about the protest is these protesters are Maori and Maori are at the greatest risk from Covid-19. Although the signs they wave don't seem to say anything about Covid-19, I feel that what they are implying is that they think they are not free to get Covid if they want to.
So I'm wondering . . .
Why, based on past experiences of Maori with the smallpox epidemic in 1915 and the influenza pandemic of 1918, not to mention the polio epidemic, would any Maori want to catch Covid?
Who benefits if lots of Maori catch Covid then get really sick or die? Do the protesters realise they might be happy-clapping their way into hospital or worse? Will the people encouraging them to resist good medical advice even care?
I think some very racist and dangerous people must be driving these protests.