What rights do people have to decide what is put into their bodies?
That was one of the questions being asked by about 18 protestors who gathered in Nowra on Saturday waving signs to express concerns about the continued lockdown and the potential of being forced to have COVID vaccinations.
It was part of coordinated protests across Australia, but while many met with heavy police responses there was no sign of law enforcement for the Nowra protestors who gathered on the corner of the Princes Highway and North Street.
Among them was a Shoalhaven man who identified himself only as Paul, who said anyone not wanting to have the vaccine faced the prospect of becoming second class citizens, locked out of a range of activities and events.
And he questioned what had happened to an individual's freedom to choose what was best for them.
"We're told that when we get to 70 per cent, 80 per cent, that we can have some of our freedoms, but oh, the freedoms are only going to be for the vaccinated," he said.
"That sort of reminds me of the Aboriginal people not allowed to drink in pubs in Australia in the late-60s or 70s because of their skin colour.
"So is Gladys going to stand there and say 'You can't go to the park Paul, you can't go to the hospital Paul, you can't go to Bunnings Paul, you can't go to the Sydney Cricket Ground Paul and watch the football or the cricket because you're not vaccinated'?"
Paul said many industries and workplaces were making COVID vaccinations compulsory, and asked what were the options for people in those industries who chose not to get vaccinated.
"I don't like the idea of the mandatory vaccinations for working," he said.
"We're worried for our kids, we're worried for our neighbours, we're worried for our wives and husbands and for the future."
Paul said one of the issues ignored in the vaccination push was the number of people struggling with next to no income due to the ongoing lockdown, which he said had resulted in increased domestic violence and record levels of calls to Lifeline.
Image: Glenn Ellard