Civil Disobedience

Has the Time Come For a Boston Mask Party?

I have written a piece for the Mail today in which I say it’s becoming increasingly clear that the only way we’re going to get our freedoms back is if we take them back – and we should start with masks. Here’s an extract:

I’m sceptical that any of the lockdown measures reduce transmission of the virus – we’ve had three lockdowns and still have one of the highest Covid death counts in Europe – but the evidence that masks protect people who are wearing them is particularly thin.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Jenny Harries, the then Deputy Chief Medical Officer and now Head of NHS Test and Trace, cautioned against members of the public wearing masks, saying they could do more harm than good.

A scientific study in Denmark last year involving more than 6,000 people, in which half wore masks for a month and the other half didn’t, found those who didn’t wear them were no more likely to become infected than those that did.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Adviser to the U.S. President, admitted last year that store-bought masks were ineffective. In an email that came to light after a freedom of information request, he wrote to a friend that masks were “not really effective in keeping out [the] virus, which is small enough to pass through material”.

I have decided enough is enough – and I will simply refuse to wear them. If a security guard stops me entering a shop or building, I will explain that I am refusing to wear a mask as a protest against the continuing restrictions and that I will wait outside until they change their mind.

If I’m told to put on a mask when I get up to go to the lavatory in a pub or a restaurant, I’ll ask the waiter to explain why it’s necessary to wear a mask when I’m standing but not when I am sitting. If they fall back on the excuse that they’re just following the rules, I’ll point out that some rules are so silly they don’t deserve to be followed.

I’ve waited 15 months for my liberties to be restored and I’m not prepared to wait another month, even if I believed Boris’s assurance that life would return to normal by July 19th.

No, the only way to get our freedoms back is to take them back. And I will start by throwing out my masks on June 21st.

Worth reading in full.

How about this? A large group of anti-lockdown protestors take a trip to Boston, Lincolnshire on June 21st and hurl our masks into the River Withan? I suggested this on Mike Graham’s show on talkRADIO today.

As Lord Sumption said, “Sometimes, the most public-spirited thing you can do with despotic laws like these is to ignore them.”

Stop Press: Last year, the Czech Republic was universally praised for getting its infection rate under control in Prague by enforcing a draconian mask policy. See this USA Today article, for instance: “In this capital city of 1.3 million, among the first in Europe to decree mandatory universal mask-wearing almost four months ago, life has now returned to normal.” Fast forward to June, and now we’re seeing headlines like this: “Czech Republic: What’s behind world’s worst COVID infection rate?

Masks don’t work. Period.

Stop Press 2: Israel has dropped the requirement for masks in enclosed spaces. The Jerusalem Post has more.

How Far Should We Take Civil Disobedience to the Public Health Police State?

We’re publishing another original essay today by Donald S. Siegel and Robert M. Sauer, two professors of social science, about what ordinary people can do to push back against what they call “the public health police state”. They believe a good role model is Artur Pawlowsky, the Polish-Canadian minister who saw off the police when they tried to shut down his Calgary church on Good Friday. Here is an extract:

Unfortunately, resistance to the Branch Covidians has been too passive. We are reminded of the famous scene from the Godfather, involving Johnny Fontane and Don Vito Corleone. Johnny Fontane was the godson of Don Vito Corleone and a famous singer.

In the scene, the whimpering Fontane is complaining to the Godfather about the studio head who will not give him a movie part that is ideally suited to him and will launch his film career. He whines to Don Corleone, stating: “Oh, Godfather, I don’t know what to do.” The exasperated Godfather takes him by the neck and screams the following: “You can act like a man!”

An example of such a real man is Artur Pawlowski, a Polish-Canadian minister based in Calgary, who has bravely defied the Government’s COVID-19 public health orders. In Calgary, as in other parts of Canada, the severity of coronavirus restrictions is matched only by the paucity of the virus. Artur became a YouTube sensation when he openly defied the police and the public health inspector when they interrupted his religious service on Good Friday, referring to them as “Nazis” and “Gestapo” and belligerently demanded that they leave the church. He was ultimately arrested by the authorities.

In our view, Pastor Pawlowski is the modern-day equivalent of Cardinal József Mindszenty, leader of the Catholic Church in Hungary, who came to represent uncompromising opposition to fascism and communism in Hungary. After WWII, Cardinal Mindszenty was jailed and tortured by the Communists and given a life sentence in a 1949 show trial that was widely condemned in the West. Midszenty was ultimately freed and remains a potent symbol of opposition to Communism and a great example of resistance to the totalitarian repression of religious freedom. We need more religious leaders like Pawlowski and Midszenty to stand up to the public health police state. We also deeply admire the courage of the ultra-orthodox Jewish leadership in the U.S. and Israel for their enlightened opposition and vigorous civil disobedience.

Worth reading in full.