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Video of anti-vaccination and lockdown protest in Maidstone show activists confronting passers-by


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Worrying footage shows anti-vaxxers making wild claims about Covid jabs and haranguing passers-by for wearing masks.

The lockdown sceptics, who marched in Maidstone yesterday, can be seen confronting people sat at bus stops and arguing with people in the street.

Watch 'highlights' of the Covid protest in Maidstone on Saturday, compiled by Louis Hayward

One young woman on the receiving end of the protesters' persistent comments walks away in anger - to which an activist remarks: "Cry-baby".

The groups had gathered in The Mall shopping centre and took to Week Street with signs and loud speakers, with the video appearing to show prominent anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn speaking to the crowd.

The footage taken during the day shows activists chanting "take down the BBC" through a loudspeaker.

An air raid siren blares as they march through the shopping centre before a woman railing against masks says: "We weren't born with a nappy on our face."

A protester berates people sat at a bus stop. Picture: Louis Hayward
A protester berates people sat at a bus stop. Picture: Louis Hayward

A man in a cap is then seen shouting at people sat a bus stop, before animatedly telling passers-by they won't be able to get on a plane again if they've had a Covid jab.

Fact-checkers say no evidence has been found that vaccines increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), when a blood clot forms in a vein, while flying.

One woman even claims "there's a good chance your not even going to be here - if you have it - in a couple of years".

Claims shared on social media that Covid vaccines could halve the population in five years by killing most people who receive them are not based in any scientific fact.

The footage has been edited down into highlights by cameraman Louis Hayward, who forwarded it on to KentOnline.

A heated exchange during the protests on Saturday. Picture: Louis Hayward
A heated exchange during the protests on Saturday. Picture: Louis Hayward

The protest was organised to highlight opposition to giving the Covid vaccine to children .

On Friday, research from the Office for National Statistics was published which showed 88% of parents of under-18s said they would either definitely or probably allow their children to have the vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is set to advise the government on vaccinating over-12s later in the summer.

Vaccination would be one solution to the spiralling number of children out of class due to self isolation.

Earlier this week we reported how a snapshot of absence rates showed 12,000 children in Kent alone were out of lessons in one week in June.

The activist animatedly lets his feelings be known in Maidstone. Picture: Louis Hayward (48856071)
The activist animatedly lets his feelings be known in Maidstone. Picture: Louis Hayward (48856071)

Prof Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the JCVI, told the BBC: “JCVI are very aware of the issues surrounding both the pros and the cons of vaccinating their children, which we will talk about in due course, but actually what we need to be absolutely sure is that these vaccines benefit children in some way... so we are looking at this data very carefully.”

But Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies' member Prof Calum Semple said not enough data was available to say for sure whether vaccinating under-18s was a good idea.

He told the BBC: “Vaccines are safe but not entirely risk-free. We are aware in adults about clots, and there’s some safety data from America showing rare heart problems associated with some of the vaccines. So until that data is really complete for children, I’m not persuaded that the risk benefit for children has been clarified.

“There’s very nuanced debate going on here but at the moment I don’t think there’s enough evidence to support vaccinating children.”

Meanwhile Boris Johnson and new health secretary Sajid Javid have both stressed all the data suggests lockdown restrictions will be lifted on July 19.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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