Leeds was the host for another freedom parade today -18 September 2021.
The format was similar to previous parades, with a large group of people congregating by the Town Hall, before a parade through the city.
There were some speakers that addressed the crowd of (very approximately) 1,000 people. The speakers were very difficult to hear, and presentations rambled at times.
This event had more coordination from the organisers to the police, meaning that there was an agreed route for the parade through the city centre, although there were last minute changes. It was very apparent that West Yorkshire Police were taking an approach of working with all those present. The police facilitated the route through the city and there was a good atmosphere – to the credit of the organisers, those taking part and West Yorkshire Police.
What does the parade mean by freedom ?
The freedom parades are about concerns around reduction in freedom, with a particular focus on measures that have been used or talked about around Covid-19, such as vaccines, vaccine passports, lockdowns and availability of treatments.
It’s not an “antivax” movement, meaning they don’t oppose all vaccines, but most, from what we can gather, oppose Covid-19 vaccines.
What’s the point of it all ?
As with all demonstrations it is about raising awareness, and it was very noticeable the amount of mobile phone footage being taken and a large number of leaflets handed out.
As a movement they are critical over the media coverage they receive. At the previous Freedom Parade in Leeds the regional media reporting seemed to be very limited or random, calling them anti-vaxxers or to talk only about the busses being delayed.
But comments against this news item will be polarised, showing the deep divide in people’s thinking.