As the world continues to reel under the effect of coronavirus, the majority of people are abiding by government lockdown rules but there is a segment defying the mandatory rules even as the global cases touch 34.7 million. 

From Paris to the United States, Australia to Canada, ever since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed a large number of anti-mask crusaders hit the streets protesting the mandatory use of face masks and other guidelines of the lockdown. 

Marine drive protest
Anti-masks protests at Marine Drive against the madatory use of masks and other lockdown guidelines. Image: Screengrab/Twitter

Now, seems like the protests have gained momentum in our country where demonstrators gathered at Mumbai's Marine Drive holding banners against the government's mask and vaccine rules. Under the banner of Awaken India, these protesters demanded a right to choice of treatment, no forced testing and end to the lockdown. 

Many of these demonstrators argued that by making these rules compulsory, local authorities are infringing on their personal rights and freedoms. Some have even alleged that wearing a face mask causes more harm than good.

The protests were slammed by netizens as they called it the demonstration of stupidity at a dangerous point in time. 

N95 masks are a sham, Coronavirus is a bioweapon: Protesters at Marine Drive

Claims like 'N95 is a sham and shouldn't be forced on people' to 'coronavirus is a bio-weapon' echoed at Marine Drive.  Interestingly, the protesters also stated that by wearing the masks people are actually taking in their carbon dioxide back which will in turn damage lungs— a claim doctors have repeatedly refuted before. 

According to the protesters, people do not feel comfortable wearing masks and face breathing issues. The whole pandemic is about major pharma giants and tech companies controlling the lives of people.

While one poster read, 'If the 6-feet (distance) works, then why the mask? If both work, why the lockdown? If all three work, why the vaccine? If the vaccine is safe, why 'No Liability' clause?' Other questioned why doesn't Bill Gates then wear a face mask? 

Maharashtra witnessed 14,348 new cases, pushing up the state's overall COVID tally to 14,30,861. Currently, India coronavirus toll has reached 65 lakhs plus mark.