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Registered Nurses Assoc. speaks out against anti-vax protests near hospitals and clinics

Protests have been held in Sudbury recently near health unit, HSN
010921_LG_Vaccine protest 8
Scores of protesters took part in a public protest against vaccination mandates and vaccine passports Sept. 1. The event was held along Paris Street in Sudbury.

Ontario's Registered Nurses Association (RNAO) has strongly condemned the idea of people holding anti vaccine passport protests outside of health organizations.

The protests have been held in several communities across Ontario, and in Sudbury, by individuals who are angry about vaccine passport requirements to visit places such as pubs, restaurants and cinemas. Some protesters believe the vaccine is bad for people. 

The RNAO said the protests in some Ontario cities have resulted in health professionals being subjected to name calling, harassment and threats. 

Access to health facilities has been disrupted, ambulances have been obstructed and patients' lives endangered, said a news release from RNAO.

"Health workers in those facilities, patients in need of care services and the families accompanying them all have enough stress already,” said the RNAO statement.

“They don't need hostile people calling to ignore health advice and scientific knowledge, shouting misinformation and yelling obscenities. This appalling behaviour has no place in our society at any time and especially not in the midst of a pandemic that has claimed the lives of 9,545 people in Ontario.”

The RNAO also expressed grave concern about "the escalating violence and the inadequate action to avert these situations by local authorities and police services.” 

There should be strong action attached and consequences against those who transgress the law, the group continued, adding that charges must be vigorously pursued against those who attack health workers, engage in acts of violence, or express hate. 

There have been no reports of any such violence or attacks on health care workers in Sudbury.

But there have been unusual statements made at some of the protest rallies in Sudbury.  

One person, identified by her Facebook persona as Lynda Maree, also known as Linda A., has been especially vocal at the protests in Sudbury where she was seen carrying a megaphone and encouraging rally participants to research the Nuremberg Trials. They were known as war crimes trials and were held to prosecute war criminals at the end of the Second World War.

"The Nuremberg Trials, when that happened when the Holocaust happened, they hanged the nurses. They hanged the doctors. This was crimes against humanity. Do not sign up for this medical tyranny that's happening right now," Lynda Maree shouted at the Paris Street rally on September 1. The rant was directed at a reporter standing in the crowd. The rant was recorded. 

In another video rant posted on Facebook (Aug. 31), Lynda Maree claimed that health-care professionals are to blame for continuing to administer the vaccines.

"It's horrific out there. It's crimes against humanity. They've now started the Nuremberg Trials 2.0. And when did we have the first Nuremberg Trials? The Nuremberg Trials after the Holocaust. And what did they do to all those people? Those doctors and those nurses and those generals and those ... you know people who murdered all those Jewish people. They hung them. 

“That's what coming with people here who are injecting people at the clinics, and not doing their work and doing their research."

In expressing its concern over the anti-vaccine protests, RNAO said Ontario authorities must make sure the right of people to protest does not disrupt the functioning of health organizations, the rights of health workers to access their workplaces peacefully, and the rights of patients and their families to focus on getting well.

"The commitment Ontario's health professionals have demonstrated to their patients, to their work and to our communities over the past year and a half should be applauded not denigrated. They have worked incessantly, many of them without days off, and at the expense of time with their families. If we want health workers to be there when we need them, we must collectively stand up for them when they are attacked and vilified," said the RNAO statement. 


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Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

About the Author: Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

Len Gillis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter at covering health care in northeastern Ontario and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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