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Kate Shemirani

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Kate Shemirani
Shemirani portrait.jpg
Shemirani speaking at Trafalgar Square in 2020
Born1965 (age 56–57)
NationalityBritish
OccupationConspiracy theorist
Political partySave Us Now
MovementConspiracism
Children4

Kay Allison "Kate" Shemirani[1] (born 1965)[2] is a British conspiracy theorist, anti-vaxxer and former nurse who lost her licence to practise in 2020 for misconduct.[3][4] She is best known for promoting conspiracy theories about COVID-19, vaccinations and 5G technology.[5] Shemirani has been described by The Jewish Chronicle as a leading figure of a movement that includes conspiracy theorists as well as far-left and far-right activists.[6]

Shemirani describes herself as a "Natural Nurse in a Toxic World".[7] She was suspended by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in July 2020, in response to complaints that she was spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID-19 and about vaccines,[8][9] and struck off (with a right to appeal after five years) in May 2021.[10]

Biography

Shemirani is known for her promotion of conspiracy theories on topics related to vaccines and 5G telephone networks, in particular in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has presented her views at events alongside other conspiracy theorists such as David Icke, Piers Corbyn and Mark Steele.[8]

Shemirani has described nurses who raised concerns about her conduct as "overweight" and "envious" of her "decent looks" and success.[5]

Promotion of conspiracy theories

COVID-19 denialism

Shemirani describes the COVID-19 pandemic as a "plandemic" and a "scamdemic",[2] and said in December 2020 that there was "no evidence that I can see that a pandemic exists".[11] She characterises the pandemic as a conspiracy to control the masses, with any vaccine for COVID-19 being a "political tool to change people's DNA".[2]

In a video published in Spring of 2020, she said "Just before Christmas we had [been told] … we're all going to die of measles… Now we're suddenly all going to die of coronavirus. I'm not buying any of it… I think it's really important that we don't just believe what the media tell us."[12]

Shemirani has been suspended from Facebook several times for promoting harmful misinformation to her 54,000 followers, including linking the 5G mobile network to the COVID-19 pandemic.[13] According to Hope Not Hate, who monitor online racism and conspiracy theories, her Facebook page describes the 9/11 attacks as a false flag, Satanic messages in music videos and the organised destruction of the nuclear family.[13] By September 2020, her Facebook page had been removed.[5] She was suspended from Twitter in late October 2020.[14]

Shemirani has been the subject of complaints for likening measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic to Nazi war crimes and the Holocaust. She has referred to hospital deaths as "genocide" and the National Health Service (NHS) as "the new Auschwitz".[13][6][15] She asked in one post, "When are people going to wake up? On the cattle truck? Or in the showers?"[16] She has described the government as behaving like the Nazis in their attempts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.[17] She defended her statements by saying:

When I likened this to Auschwitz and the cattle trucks – you tell me the difference?

Because the only time in history I could find where the doctors and nurses were able to end people's lives was the nurses of the Third Reich. The nurses of the Third Reich are here today.

I don't care if they find it offensive. I find it offensive that our elderly have been murdered in care homes.

Stop being a special snowflake and saying you're offended. They are killing our elderly, our most vulnerable.[17]

An editorial in The Nursing Standard, stated that Shemirani is "openly propagating her unfounded opinions in her capacity as a nurse – and in doing so, casting doubt over the integrity of her nursing and medical colleagues."[18]

The Jewish Chronicle investigated Shemirani and found that online she made references to Hitler and the Nazis when describing the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and the NHS.[19]

Shemirani was a host and speaker at Resist and Act for Freedom, a protest event held at Trafalgar Square on 19 September 2020. The event gathered together protestors with a wide range of grievances relating to face masks, vaccinations, and a host of conspiracy theories, although David Icke and Piers Corbyn distanced themselves from the event, Corbyn accusing its organisers of "fake news used to divide Our Movement".[20]

During her speech, she said that a vaccine for COVID-19 will mean that the government "will be able to look at every aspect of what's going on in our brains" and "not only can they pick it up, they can download into us".[2] She also claimed, "They want you all wearing a mask, there's no science behind that mask. That mask is going to make you sick".[21]

Whilst she was observing police officers amassing at the North West corner of the square, she urged members of the audience to confront the police. Protestors chanting "choose your side" formed a human blockade in order to prevent police actions and initially forced officers to retreat. Thirty protestors were arrested and the police dispersed the protest at approximately 3pm.[22][23] A split in the campaign, with Steele and Shemirani on one side, and Icke and Corbyn on the other side, has been reported, with supporters of Icke describing Shemirani as "controlled opposition".[20]

On 8 December 2020, Shemirani, appeared on Sky News and gave an interview with Alex Rossi and made several unsubstantiated claims. She said, "No vaccine has ever been proven safe and no vaccine has ever been proven effective". Rossi interrupted and replied, "We know that's not true. Millions and millions of lives have been saved by vaccines". Shemirani swiftly replied, "Simply not true". Rossi sharply responded, "They're some of the safest medicines ever invented". That's just nonsense". Shemirani continued with more unsubstantiated claims and said, "There is no evidence that I can see that a pandemic exists. There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has been purified and is unequivocally in existence".[24]

On 1 March 2021, the Metropolitan Police reported that they had charged Shemirani with 6 breaches of the UK Coronavirus regulations along with fellow activist Piers Corbyn.[25]

On 24 July 2021, Shemirani attended a protest at Trafalgar Square, London, and made threats to NHS doctors and nurses by comparing them to the doctors and nurses of Nazi Germany who were convicted at the Nuremberg Trials and hanged.[26][27] She said, "Get their names. Email them to me. With a group of lawyers, we are collecting all that. At the Nuremberg Trials the doctors and nurses stood trial and they hung. If you are a doctor or a nurse, now is the time to get off that bus... and stand with us the people."[26] The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, described her words as "utterly appalling" and reported her to the police.[28] Following her remarks, there were concerns about the safety of doctors and nurses in the United Kingdom;[29] the police launched an investigation.[30] Her son Sebastian has called for the police to take action and to prosecute his mother because he believes that her remarks pose an immediate risk to the lives of the doctors and nurses in the United Kingdom.[31]

On 30 August 2021, an anti-vaccine protest led by Shemirani was followed by the temporary closure of a vaccination facility in Churchill Square, Brighton after a smoke-bomb was set-off in the nearby shopping centre.[32]

Antisemitism and conspiracy theories

Shemirani has espoused several anti-semitic conspiracy theories. She stated in an interview that her ex-husband had taught her about the Committee of 300, she explained that he gave her "an education in the New World Order, of the illuminati, the top families, who owns what. All the corruption, the murders, I knew all of that. But I never knew it would happen in my lifetime."[8] Originally based on the distortion of a quote by German politician Walther Rathenau in 1909 about around 300 powerful men determining the fate of the world, the belief that the supposed 300 men were all Jewish became dominant. It is viewed as a parallel to the antisemitic hoax, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.[8][33]

Shemirani contends that Jewish financier George Soros is responsible for the Black Lives Matter protests. (Soros' Open Society Foundation had contributed $220 million to groups advocating for self-described "racial justice".) Online, she compared Soros to the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and employed images of Hitler and the Nazi swastika to that effect.[6] Shemirani contends Soros and Bill Gates are promoting a (in her view) untrue COVID-19 pandemic for their own advantage. During one speech, Shemirani stated that "[t]he biggest cause of death amongst the American Black… African Black American… is abortion! They're killing your babies before they even get out the womb! Who funds that? George Soros' Planned Parenthood".[6]

She had repeated QAnon conspiracy theories about figures in the US Democratic Party. Shemirani promotes narratives that universal religious persecution operation exists and that a large-scale conspiracy by the global elite is perpetrating the sexual abuse of children.[6][19]

In May, she was interviewed for the American health website Vibe and espoused a conspiracy theory concerning the marriage of Imran Khan and Jemima Goldsmith.[6]

Imran Khan has just accepted lots of money from Bill Gates… he's banking him for all the polio vaccines and everything else. Imran Khan married Jemina Goldsmith and her father is one of those Illuminati, those top families, they are all in bed and toe-sucking with one another. He's not married to her now – but it doesn't matter. He was a cricketer. And now he's the head of the whole of Pakistan, and in bed with Bill Gates. We have to stand up to these people because we far outnumber them.

Shemirani has stated her belief in Satanic cults, which she linked to conspiracy theories concerning COVID-19. In videos, she has told her followers in speeches that "Christians are being persecuted all over the world" (along with Muslims and Asians) by "paedophiles who are all in bed with one another." She claimed that these paedophiles "all worship the devil."[8]

Suspension from nursing

In June 2020, a virtual hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which regulates nursing and midwifery professions in the UK, gave Shemirani an interim suspension for 18 months.[34] Shemirani's interim suspension was confirmed on 20 July 2020 in a hearing in which she was assisted by fellow conspiracy theorist Mark Steele who acted as her McKenzie friend.[35] The reason for the suspension was to avoid risks of public harm,[5] for promoting anti-vaccination and 5G networking conspiracy theories and claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic is a scam.[6] Shemirani and Steele criticised the hearing for not listening to their claims about 5G and vaccination. Shemirani referred to nurses who carry out vaccinations as Nazis and to those who recognise the gravity of the pandemic as "complicit in the tyranny and lies".[6] Steele described the Nursing and Midwifery Council as being complicit in genocide.[5]

On 28 May 2021, the NMC Fitness to Practise Committee decided to remove Shemirani from the register of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. After five years, she will be able to appeal the decision if she wishes to return to nursing.[10]

Personal life

Shemirani lives in East Sussex and has four children.[2] She separated from her husband Faramarz Shemirani in 2014.[36][better source needed]

Her son Sebastian gave an interview to Marianna Spring on 24 October 2020 about his mother, broadcast on the BBC World Service.[37] During the interview, he told Spring that he contacted the BBC because he is worried that his mother's claims and ideas are "dangerous" and could have an impact on public health.[31] Kate Shemirani was contacted by the BBC about her son's account. She responded: "From what I can see it would appear a 'conspiracy theorist' is actually now anyone who believes something other than what your controllers want them to believe... I find this deeply disturbing".[14]

In June 2021, Sebastian told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that his mother is "very dangerous" and has called for the police to prosecute her after she compared the nurses and doctors in the UK to Nazi war criminals who were hanged at the Nuremberg Trials. He said that she should be prosecuted, "Because it's only a matter of time before... somebody acts on the bad advice that she's giving the country".[30] He argued that his mother is "beyond help" and that "the problem is that she's so arrogant in her world view and really, truly believes that she is a conduit for the truth on a spiritual level, not just a scientific level".[30] He told British radio presenter Maajid Nawaz during an interview on LBC that after he told his mother that he was getting a Covid vaccine, she sent him text messages telling him that his "DNA is going to be changed" and "that the enzyme is created by the devil himself".[38]

See also

References

  1. ^ Roberts, Lizzie (3 June 2021). "Nurse who spread Covid conspiracy theories that vaccines will 'kill you' struck off". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hennessey, Ted; Hornall, Thomas; Bazaraa, Danya (20 September 2020). "Anti-vaccine protest leader is 'mum-of-four who says coronavirus doesn't exist'". The Mirror. Archived from the original on 3 October 2020.
  3. ^ Hancock, Sam (4 June 2021). "Nurse who claimed Covid symptoms 'caused by 5G' is struck off". The Independent.
  4. ^ "Substantive Meeting - Fitness to Practise Committee" (PDF). Nursing and Midwifery Council. 26–28 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e Ellis, Rosa; Kennedy, Dominic (12 September 2020). "Kate Shemirani: antivax leader is banned nurse who fears 5G network". The Times. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2020.(subscription required)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Harpin, Lee (10 September 2020). "Suspended nurse at the centre of anti-lockdown protests called NHS 'the new Auschwitz'". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020. Kate Shemirani – one of the leading figures in a movement that has united QAnon obsessives with far-left and far-right activists.
  7. ^ "Revealed: The So-Called 'Top Class Doctors And Nurses' Backing Anti-Mask Protests". HuffPost. 5 September 2020. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e Harpin, Lee (9 September 2020). "Revealed: anti-vaxx nurse at centre of Covid hate demos". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Facebook 'danger to public health' warns report". BBC News (in British English). 19 August 2020. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  10. ^ a b Hoffman, Noa (2 June 2021). "Anti-vaxx nurse who called NHS 'the new Auschwitz' is struck off". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  11. ^ 'There is no evidence of a pandemic' says anti-vaxxer. YouTube (Video). Sky News. 7 December 2020. Archived from the original on 15 May 2021.
  12. ^ Nuki, Paul; Kelly-Linden, Jordan; Newey, Sarah (26 March 2020). "Covid Deniers: How shadowy social media groups are spreading myths and conspiracy about coronavirus". The Daily Telegraph (in British English). ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 15 November 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  13. ^ a b c "Dangerous Anti-Vaxx Brits". HOPE not hate. 1 July 2020. Archived from the original on 16 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020. Like Shemirani, [Sacha] Stone adheres to elements of the QAnon conspiracy theory, promoting the belief that thousands of children have been trafficked for sexual abuse by a global Satanic liberal elite.
  14. ^ a b Spring, Marianna (1 November 2020). "How I talk to the victims of conspiracy theories". BBC News. Archived from the original on 3 November 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Anti-mask protest leader is suspended nurse who compared lockdown to the Holocaust". Metro. 20 September 2020. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  16. ^ "'This is genocide': Inside the bizarre rise of coronavirus conspiracy theories". The Independent. 26 September 2020. Archived from the original on 16 October 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Anti-mask nurse defended Nazi references saying: 'I don't care if they find it offensive'". Jewish Chronicle. 22 September 2020. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  18. ^ Bates, Jane (30 June 2021). "One anti-vax outburst can shake public trust". Nursing Standard. 36 (7): 12–12. doi:10.7748/ns.36.7.12.s7. ISSN 0029-6570.
  19. ^ a b Doward, Jamie (20 September 2020). "'Quite frankly terrifying': How the QAnon conspiracy theory is taking root in the UK". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020.
  20. ^ a b Kennedy, Dominic; Ellis, Rosa (11 September 2020). "Piers Corbyn blamed for split among coronavirus deniers". The Times. Archived from the original on 11 September 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.(subscription required)
  21. ^ Specia, Megan (28 September 2020). "As Europe's Coronavirus Cases Rise, So Do Voices Crying Hoax". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  22. ^ Walawalkar, Aaron; Gayle, Damien (19 September 2020). "More than 30 arrested during coronavirus protests in London". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020.
  23. ^ Lizzie Dearden (19 September 2020). "Trafalgar Square protest: Conspiracy theorists clash with police at anti-lockdown demonstration". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  24. ^ Luke Donnelly (8 December 2020). "The 'nonsense' claims made by Sussex mum about the coronavirus vaccine on Sky News". Sussex Live. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Five people charged with breaches of Coronavirus regulations". Metropolitan Police. 1 March 2021. Archived from the original on 2 March 2021.
  26. ^ a b Stubley, Peter (24 July 2021). "Thousands of anti-vaccine protesters gather in London". The Independent. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  27. ^ "Covid vaccine: Speech comparing NHS medics to Nazis condemned". BBC News Online. 25 July 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  28. ^ Wadhera, Celine (25 July 2021). "Anti-vaxxer condemned for comparing NHS to Nazis at Trafalgar Square rally". The Independent.
  29. ^ "COVID-19: Met Police investigate after ex-nurse compares NHS staff to Nazis at anti-vax and anti-lockdown rally". Sky News. 26 July 2021.
  30. ^ a b c Rawlinson, Kevin (26 July 2021). "Met police investigate anti-vaxxer's speech amid fears for safety of medics". The Guardian.
  31. ^ a b Marshall, Olivia (27 October 2020). "Son warns against his mother's Covid-19 conspiracy theories". The Argus. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  32. ^ Dochety-Cove, Jody (2 September 2021). "Anger after Brighton vaccination centre compared to Auschwitz". The Argus.
  33. ^ Harpin, Lee (26 July 2021). "Police probe anti-lockdown speaker who referred to Nuremberg trials, hanging of doctors". Jewish News. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  34. ^ "Hearings and outcomes for June 2020 - SHEMIRANI, Kay Allison, 84K0043S". Nursing and Midwifery Council. 22 June 2020. Archived from the original on 15 August 2020.
  35. ^ "Interim Order Review Hearing" (PDF). Nursing and Midwifery Council. 20 July 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  36. ^ "Kate Shemirani, R.N., Breast Cancer Survivor, Discusses Gerson Therapy Used". The Holistic Health Show. 6 November 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  37. ^ "Coronavirus: How my mum became a conspiracy theory influencer". BBC News. 26 October 2020. Archived from the original on 3 November 2020.
  38. ^ Grafton-Green, Patrick (26 July 2021). "Son of anti-vax nurse: My mum is too far gone to be helped". LBC.