'Bizarre' - City reacts to anti-vaccination protests

An anti-vaccination protest snakes its way around Norwich

An anti-vaccination protest snakes its way around Norwich - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

As a protest against Murderers landlord Phil Cutter's decision to ask customers to prove their Covid status snaked its way around the city, Colette Fountain spoke to bemused city folk watching on.

Two men I spoke with used to work with Nigel Utton, one of the speakers, before he became an osteopath.

They described him as someone who loved the limelight.

One said: "The aspects of a Covid passport does make me feel uneasy, largely because of the impact it may have on my daughter who is under-18 and so not-vaccinated."

However, both men agreed the protest was "a bit of a joke" and "too much".

Another person said "the message was lost" in the protest, "erring on the side of extremism" - as opposed to voicing legitimate concerns about a passport system.

Many city folk denounced the protesters as "idiots" and "fools". 

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One added: "They are too ignorant to understand the harm they are causing, particularly to those who have lost loved ones or work in the medical field."

However, others were supportive of the protest.

One man said: "I agree that it is unfair to discriminate. There is a contrast between the harmony of the start of Covid and the unnecessarily divisive attitudes post-lockdown.

"Pubs should regulate customers and refuse to serve those over a certain weight, who are at a higher risk."

Another man said: "It should be up to the pub what they want to do. I'm looking forward to having my second dose of the jab - the sooner the better."

A woman I spoke to was enthusiastic about the vaccine and dismissive of the concerns of the protesters.

She said: "Obviously the vaccine helps and everyone has a choice - even if the protesters don't think they do."

The final people I spoke to had been following the protest for a while and were especially frustrated by repeated comparisons between Covid passports and Nazi Germany.

One woman said: "The references to Auschwitz were bizarre and disrespectful.

"The protest was also disrespectful to people who had shielded in order to protect their loved-ones."