Covid anti-vaccine protesters ‘intimidate’ parents outside Glasgow schools

ANTI-vaxxer protesters have “intimidated” pupils and parents outside Glasgow schools.

Two schools have been targeted by conspiracy theorists protesting against Covid jabs in the past fortnight, as The Scottish Sun reports.

The details emerged after the vaccine rollout was extended to children age 12-15 and after Health Secretary Humza Yousaf told a committee he had heard of incidents where anti-vaxxers have pitched up outside schools to spread “disinformation”.

Mr Yousaf, the Glasgow Pollok MSP, said he knew of examples of people stationing themselves at school gates to talk others out of Covid jabs with letters that mimicked official health advice.

It later emerged 12 protesters had turned up and started filming staff at a primary school in Glasgow’s East End on Wednesday.

And on September 22, there were similar scenes at a West End primary.

In Wednesday’s incident, a minibus of 12 men and women from a group called “Unite for Truth” arrived at the school gates at home time, insiders told The Scottish Sun.

 

A school source said they were handing out anti-vaccine leaflets “full of outrageous claims” and were standing at every exit gate.

The headteacher is said to have asked them politely to move, but they refused and “became rude”.

One of the men is said to have told staff they would return in the coming days.

And parents later called the school saying they had been “intimidated” and had “their car windows banged”.

The headteacher phone the police who said that if the group returned, they would send officers, a source said.

In the September 22 incident, a source told how parents reported that they felt “really uncomfortable with being approached and felt that they were being forced to take the leaflets”.

The headteacher was then filmed by the anti-vaxxers after asking for them to move aside so children would leave the school safely.

A Glasgow City Council source said: “We have no idea who these people are or what they are trying to achieve by bothering children.

“We do know that they are causing upset and alarm by peddling their misinformation to families who are going about their daily business picking their children up from school.

“Our parents are saying that they feel intimidated, and we also have reports that some are cancelling their child’s flu immunisation because of the outrageous claims being made – this is potentially very alarming and dangerous.”

Giving evidence to Holyrood’s Covid-19 Recovery Committee today, Mr Yousaf said: “We have had examples, even in Scotland, where people have rocked up to schools, outside the school gate, presenting a letter which looks like it’s an NHS information leaflet – but contains a whole host of disinformation.

“We reacted quickly on that and were able to speak to the school and able to send communications to the parents of the children involved.

“But countering disinformation is going to be a multi-pronged approach. Social media and digital is going to have to involve really taking on, quite robustly I think, some of the disinformation that exists.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers attended at a school in Glasgow around 3.25pm on Wednesday, October 6, following reports of a small protest.

“No criminality was established.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992