Someone in Wales captured video footage of a shopper ripping into plastic sheets that cover the non-essential goods in a supermarket. The man is saying he “wants to take a stand” against the most recent COVID-19 measures. The man is 27-year-old Gwilym Owen and he can be seen tearing into the plastic sheeting that covers products at a Bangor Tesco store. Staff at the store has the products wrapped up that aren’t deemed essential by the government. This is a part of the firebreak lockdown in Wales, which is a two-week period in which the government hopes to bring the number of coronavirus cases down.
In the firebreak lockdown, anyone who doesn’t work in an essential job is required to stay home. For this two-week period, all schools and hospitality settings have to be closed until November 9. In the shocking video that was uploaded to social media, Owen isn’t wearing a facial covering or mask during the incident. In the video, he says, “Since when have clothes been exempt? Since when have clothes been non-essential? Kids’ f***ing clothes, it’s a disgrace. We’re coming into winter now.” As Owen pushes the barriers over and continues to rip the plastic sheeting from product shelves, some are falling to the floor.
You can see staff rushing over to Owen and whoever is filming him. Owen can be heard saying, “All you need to do is not comply.” The footage cuts off as the store’s security team approaches Owen. He later addressed the incident on Facebook, where he claimed to be unashamed of his behavior. He added: “I had enough last night. I don’t care about the backlash that I may get from this. I heard supermarkets have put covers over ‘nonessential‘ things such as clothes. We’re heading into winter now and who would have thought clothes for children weren’t essential?. He added this:
“I’m sure there are people out there who can barely afford heating in their houses and now they want to stop people buying clothes in supermarkets. I don’t expect everyone to do what I’ve done here, but I do expect everyone to know that denying the public clothing is nothing but immoral and inhuman. So no I’m not ashamed of what I’ve done. I’m not prepared to live in a society where they can take basic human needs away like being able to buy new clothes, especially for children. So I’ll do what I can to stop it. I’ve had it up to my tether with what’s going on and we need more people to take a stand for what is right! This was my stand.”
Tesco put out a statement also, explaining that the new restrictions have made them currently unable to sell non-essential items in their stores, adding that “Our colleagues have worked hard to put these measures in place and we ask that customers please respect these restrictions.” This is the kind of behavior we’ve been seeing a lot of here in the U.S., but it seems like the tensions around coronavirus restrictions are affecting everyone all over the world now, even in places that have people who are usually much more sensible. I have a feeling we’re going to see more and more of this kind of behavior as the coronavirus shows no sign of abating. Watch the video below.