Leader of the First Wave Movement, Umar Abdullah, holds a T&T flag as he leads community activists and followers on a protest march from Point Fortin.

The First Wave Movement (FWM) yesterday embarked on a march from Point Fortin to Port-of-Spain to protest the COVID-19 measures introduced by the Government.

The march started in front of the Point Fortin Hospital, where medical staff are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, with FWM leader Umar Abdullah, Edward Moodie, and physician Dr Rajiv Seereeram leading a group of about 20 people. They were headed to Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.

Abdullah, who claimed the Government is disguising totalitarianism as democracy, said: “We have evil men walking the corridors of our Parliament, and we are here to push back, we are here to take back our country. Our citizens in this country, their rights have been violated.

“We have lost all our rights, our freedom of choice. We have lost freedom of movement in this country. We are saying that this is unconstitutional, and this Government has to retract their position on all these issues.”

The group is protesting against measures such as the safe zones which grant people vaccinated against COVID-19 access to bars, dining at eateries, gyms, cinemas and water parks.

Abdullah is calling for that arrangement to be cancelled because it encourages segregation.

While safe zones continue to operate despite low revenue, he said those businesses are participating in their demise.

“Very soon, they would not be able to continue to operate and be able to exist,” he warned.

He said the FWM learnt that private institutions supported the Government narrative and warned them against encouraging segregation as it is also causing discrimination in the labour force where companies are mandating vaccination as a condition of employment.

He said Government must clearly state to businesses that they should stop these policies. While regulatory agencies and global health bodies show that COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe illness and death in most people, Abdullah said Government lied to citizens.

“Those persons who have taken the injection, this Government has betrayed you. How are you taking that?

“They told you that when you take this jab, you will not get sick, you will not end up in the hospital, you will not die,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Health, 90.9 per cent of people hospitalised with COVID-19 in the parallel healthcare system are unvaccinated.Moodie, leader of the South Oropouche Riverine Flood Action Group, called on Government, Opposition and religious leaders to state their position on the situation in T&T.

He said citizens were laughing at Venezuela not too long ago but are now living in a failed state. He said citizens were deep in poverty, so Government should not implement the impending property tax.

Seereeram, a member of Responsible Parents T&T, said the group stands against mandatory vaccination for children.

He scoffed at news from the medical fraternity and the media that children were disproportionately affected by COVID-19, claiming those reports were unqualified and only served to create fear and panic among parents.

He said COVID-19 vaccines did not undergo enough years of testing for use in children.