Anti-vaxxers targeting children across the country with fake NSPCC leaflets and Covid-sceptic rap music have vowed to hit schools and vaccine centres ‘five days a week’ all summer.
A group calling itself Footsoldiers4Freedom is linked to stunts outside at least four schools in London, Manchester and Bolton in recent weeks, Metro.co.uk can reveal.
Most followed a pattern of handing out flyers with the child protection charity’s logo telling pupils to ‘discard your mask’, while blasting songs with lyrics such as ‘children, children, don’t take the vaccine’ through loudspeakers.
Footage of one incident appears to show pupils visibly startled as the group’s leader, a would-be musician calling himself Remeece, stops them as they exit a testing centre and falsely claims test kits contain chemicals ‘linked to cancer’.
Marie Tyrell, mother of a Year 7 pupil at Blackfen School in Sidcup, south-east London, said her daughter had to cross the road on her way home because one individual ‘refused to let her pass unless she took a leaflet’ during another stunt on May 27.
Marie told Metro.co.uk: ‘I respect freedom of speech but specifically targeting children and schools is abhorrent.
‘The children are aware of the NSPCC as they do great work in schools on genuine campaigns.’
‘This was clearly a premeditated act targeting children for a political agenda when they would be without their parents.’
An image of the leaflet appeared identical to a design created by Remeece emblazoned with NSPCC branding. Other designs include debunked claims about the effects of vaccines.
He filmed himself handing copies to kids heading home from St Ignatius School in Enfield, north London, on May 17, and Manchester Academy in Moss Side on May 19.
The conspiracy theorist – a nightclub promoter whose real name is Edward Freeman – was also pictured with his boombox and around 9 others shouting and handing leaflets to pupils going for tests at the ESSA Academy in Bolton on May 21.
Two of his music videos feature cameos by Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy who ran for London mayor on a platform claiming Covid is a hoax and has been fined £10,000 after repeated arrests for breaking lockdown rules at protests.
Mr Corbyn was also arrested in February on suspicion of malicious communications and public nuisance over a leaflet which ‘appeared to compare the COVID-19 vaccination programme with the Holocaust’, according to the Met Police.
Officers who attended the incidents in Sidcup and Enfield said no offences were identified at the time.
A message on Remeece’s website states: ‘For the next few months, we will be targeting the schools and vaccination centres at least 5 days per week.
‘The only solution to this problem is to go on the streets and put ourselves at risk, even if that means going to prison or worse.’
Following news that the UK’s medicines regulator approved the Pfizer jab for 12- to 15-year-olds, Remeece issued another call to his Instagram followers on Friday to ‘get a small group together and go to [vaccine] centres and schools’.
Survey data suggests the UK’s anti-vaccine movement is one of the weakest in the world, with Britons consistently scoring top in global surveys of vaccine approval.
Polling by YouGov and Imperial College London published Friday found 87 per cent of people in Britain trusted the Covid vaccines – the highest proportion out of 15 countries surveyed.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: ‘We have been made aware of fake leaflets that are using our logo without permission and are taking steps to address the situation.’
The Metropolitan Police said officers attending the incident in Sidcup ‘found three people distributing leaflets against the wearing of face masks in regards to Covid’.
Officers were deployed over the following days to ‘provide reassurance’.
A spokesperson added: ‘At approximately 15:05hrs on 17 May police were made aware of a group of protesters handing out leaflets in the vicinity of Turkey Lane station in Enfield.
‘Officers attended the location but no offences were identified or reported.’
Remeece and Footsoldiers4Freedom have been approached for comment.