Thousands of people gathered on Sunday outside the presidential palace in Nicosia to protest against the blanket introduction of the SafePass as of Tuesday.
The crowd at Human Rights Square outside the palace spilled over into Proedrikou Megarou street.
More than one speaker made reference to the suppression of treatments and medicines in favour of vaccines – especially early treatment at home, which would reduce hospitalisations.
The speakers included epidemiologist Elpidoforos Soteriades who specifically called on the government to supply monoclonal antibodies to Covid patients in the early stage of the disease. He also urged them to stop dividing people and “destroying social cohesion”.
Another speaker, lawyer Alex Stylianou, made reference to ‘Operation Lockstep’, a report published in 2010 by the Rockefeller Foundation which appears to anticipate the Covid crisis. “This has nothing to do with a pandemic,” he declared, “and everything to do with social control and removal of people’s rights”.
The crowd was largely peaceful, including some families and elderly people. However, there was tension in the air, prompting an organiser to urge the more rowdy elements to “respect the speakers” – and one speaker sounded an ominous note, saying that they’d gathered peacefully in order to give the government one last chance:
“Let me tell you,” he vowed, to huge applause from the crowd, “that next time it won’t be so peaceful.”
The protest was organised through social media groups. From videos posted online, a heavy police presence could be seen but they did not engage with the protesters.
According to their statement posted online, the demonstrators called for an immediate abolition of the SafePass, the continuation of free rapid tests, which will end on August 1, and end to twice-weekly tests for all unvaccinated employees.
They also want a declaration from the presidency that vaccination will not be mandatory, an ended to the separation of people into vaccinated and unvaccinated, an end to “the intimidation, blackmail, and threats of dismissal against public and private sector workers because they refuse to get the jab”.
Protesters also call for “the immediate abolition of illegal and unconstitutional decrees”.