Dozens of protesters joined a march in the centre of Aberdeen on Saturday against the mandatory vaccination of NHS staff and health workers.
Protesters gathered with signs around the Castlegate area before marching throughout the city centre.
Demonstrations took place across the UK today after MPs voted on legislation to make two jabs compulsory for NHS frontline workers in England last month.
The protest in Aberdeen was one of the only marches planned in the north of Scotland, with people travelling from the likes of Moray and Dundee to show support.
Although the demonstration was organised around the NHS vaccine mandate, the majority of people who joined the protest appeared to have no affiliation with the health service.
They were demonstrating their views against the vaccination programme, vaccination passports and Covid regulations currently in force, such as the wearing of masks.
One sign read: “Ditch yer mask.”
Another said: “It’s not about health, it’s about control.”
Nikki Thomson, a gardener from Dufftown, commented: “I think we’re all pro-choice here, it’s not about forcing a decision one way or another, people have to make that decision for themselves and do their own research.
“I don’t think anyone here wants to impose any ideas on anyone else.”
‘I don’t want to lose my job’
There were some NHS staff walking around the Granite City alongside others showing support to their friends and family in the health service.
Charisse Deigan, a staff nurse in Aberdeen, was one of them.
She explained: “I’m against what is happening with the vaccine mandates in England, I don’t want it to happen, I don’t want it to happen to us up here.
“I don’t want to lose my job and I don’t want to keep my job by taking a vaccine that I don’t agree with.
“We all need to stand together.”
Horse trainer Sarah Snelling was at the march supporting her friends in the NHS. She believes it “should be a choice” to get the vaccine.
She added: “Some of these people, by the time they’re 50, have been in their career over 30 years, they’re not only competent but valuable to NHS.
“Losing staff that have that life experience is ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s not going to do the public or the NHS any favours.”
Former public health worker Dawn Allardyce believes that it is “inhumane” to force people to get jagged.
She said: “One size doesn’t fit all, my little girl’s got allergies that are particularly bad and God forbid if anything was to happen.
“They’re not advertising what is in them, it’s about pro-choice really and there are various reasons, it’s not just allergies or health conditions, you’ve got beliefs and religions and all these kind of things.”
Aberdeen city centre brought to a standstill
The unmasked crowds lined the streets of Aberdeen as they marched on to the John Lewis vaccination centre and passed through the Bon Accord Centre.
They then took to the Granite Mile and made their way to Union Square before walking through the shopping centre and returning to Castlegate.
Three police officers worked alongside the crowd to maintain order and control traffic.
At points along Union Street and around Union Square traffic was brought to a complete standstill as the droves of protesters marched on.
Their reception appeared to be mixed, with some members of the public shouting angrily at the procession.
Others tooted and cheered on in support.
The mandate, which is expected to come into force in England from April 1, is not planned for Scotland.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We have no plans to introduce mandatory vaccinations for NHS and social care staff, or anyone else, in Scotland.
“Uptake rates are incredibly high amongst NHS and social care staff in Scotland and we are grateful for their efforts during the pandemic.”