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Protest planned Saturday to voice opposition to mandatory vaccination against COVID-19

Protest planned Saturday to voice opposition to mandatory vaccination against COVID-19

The General Federation for Lebanese Trade Unions headed by Maroun al-Khouli announced the protest on Thursday. (Credit: Nicolas Tucat/AFP)

BEIRUT — Demonstrators will gather Saturday at 11 a.m. in Martyrs’ Square in Downtown Beirut to voice their opposition to mandatory vaccination against COVID-19.

Here’s what we know:

    • The General Federation for Lebanese Trade Unions headed by Maroun al-Khouli announced the protest on Thursday. It is aimed at opposing the “mandatory nature of the vaccines and supports freedom of choice” in taking them, the federation said in its announcement.

    • On Dec. 1, the ministerial committee for COVID-19 restrictions made vaccines mandatory for all public sector employees as well as employees in the education and tourism sectors as of Jan. 10. Those who remain unvaccinated after Jan. 10 will be required to take a PCR test twice a week at their own expense — a considerable extra cost for public sector employees whose lira-denominated salaries have not changed since the onset of the financial crisis in 2019 which has seen the national currency lose more than 95 percent of its value against the US dollar.

    • Roland Khoury, a member of the federation, told L’Orient Today that the protest “is not against taking the vaccines but against their mandatory nature.”

    • “You should have the last say over what you insert in your body and [it is] not anyone’s business,” Khoury said.

    • A will-be participant in the protest who wished not to be named told L’Orient Today that the mandatory nature of the vaccines draws suspicion. “When I took my children to the doctor, he would ask me if I wanted to vaccinate my kids. How come this particular vaccine is mandatory? It’s very fishy,” the participant said. 


BEIRUT — Demonstrators will gather Saturday at 11 a.m. in Martyrs’ Square in Downtown Beirut to voice their opposition to mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. Here’s what we know:    • The General Federation for Lebanese Trade Unions headed by Maroun al-Khouli announced the protest on Thursday. It is aimed at opposing the “mandatory nature of the vaccines and supports...