Home News ‘Anti-5G’ crackpot movement calls for an Algarve free of 5G technology

‘Anti-5G’ crackpot movement calls for an Algarve free of 5G technology

Published on 11/05/2020

A movement of citizens based in the Algarve are this week demanding the immediate suspension of the ongoing process of installing fifth generation telecommunications technology, abbreviated to 5G, in the region.

“Stop 5G Algarve” calls for “a serious and informative public discussion, based on science” about this technology, which they claim uses “harmful and dangerous radiation”. Until that happens, any action to install this technology in the Algarve must be suspended, they say.

The anti-5G activists promise “legal action in court, as well as civic action to promote clarification among the population” and call for the quick mobilization of the Algarve around an issue that they consider to constitute “a high risk to public health”.

Moreover, the Algarve-based movement has put their voice behind a national public petition called the “Petition for Precaution in relation to 5G”, addressed to “MPs, members of local authorities, and the living forces of society”, which allegedly “already has 6600 signatures”.

The members of the movement request the “common sense of the local authorities in the Algarve” and ask the “public entities responsible for this matter”, namely ANACOM, to “respond appropriately to all letters, doubts and warnings” of citizens and scientists.

The movement also says that it cannot accept the public response written by the Council of Ministers, published on April 21 in Diário da República, “in which 5G is presented to us merely as a kind of national design for the new digital transition”.

“We demand that the Government immediately suspend the implementation and testing of 5G technology in Portugal. We demand the immediate application of the Precautionary Principle petition and an end to this attack on human health and Portuguese democracy”, they conclude.

Truth or trolling?

Online conspiracy theories have been trying to link the novel coronavirus pandemic to the rollout of 5G technology over the past few weeks, and it appears that such conspiracies have now reared their heads in the Algarve.

Despite there being no scientific links, multiple 5G towers have been set on fire over in the UK. Theories shared on Facebook, Nextdoor, and Instagram are being widely spread, leading the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to very clearly state: “5G technology does NOT cause coronavirus.”

In all truth, none of the conspiracy theories that try to link 5G and the coronavirus even make sense. The virus is spreading in countries without access to 5G, the frequencies from 5G can’t harm your body, and COVID-19 is caused by a contagious virus that is in no way related to electromagnetic waves. Even the general correlation between 5G and COVID-19 doesn’t stand up to scrutiny: they’re both global phenomena happening at roughly the same time, but as soon as you look at specific countries, the correlation falls apart.

Some of these theories suggest that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through 5G or that 5G suppresses the immune system. Both are untrue. To understand why 5G and the virus aren’t linked, you have to understand why 5G radio waves aren’t powerful enough to damage the cells in your body alone or transmit a virus. Much like 4G or 3G before it, the radio waves used in 5G are low frequency and non-ionizing radiation. These are on the opposite end of the electromagnetic spectrum to ionizing radiation sources like X-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet rays.

These 5G radio waves simply aren’t strong enough to heat your body and weaken your immune system. “The idea that 5G lowers your immune system doesn’t stand up to scrutiny,” explains Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, in a recent interview with the BBC.

Likewise, radio waves and viruses aren’t transmitted in the same way. The novel coronavirus spreads from one person to another, typically through tiny droplets of saliva produced when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or breathes. Thankfully the only types of viruses you can transmit via radio waves are ones that affect computers, not humans.