Not Real News

In this March 27, 2018, file photo, Indigenous people stand outside Sao Paulo's City Hall during a demonstration. On Friday, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that a video showed aboriginal people in Australia defending themselves with bows and arrows against authorities trying to forcibly administer COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, the video showed a group of Guarani Indigenous people in Sao Paulo, Brazil, demonstrating against health care policy changes in March 2019. 

CLAIM: A video shows aboriginal people in Australia defending themselves with bows and arrows against authorities trying to forcibly administer COVID-19 vaccines.

THE FACTS: The video was filmed in Brazil nearly a year before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. It shows a March 2019 demonstration in Sao Paulo by a group of Guarani Indigenous people who were protesting changes to health care infrastructure and resources. But social media users are falsely claiming it shows Indigenous people in Australia staving off coronavirus vaccination efforts. “The Australian Aborigines are defending themselves with bow and arrow against the authorities who are forcibly trying to vaccinate them,” reads one false tweet that shared the video. The original video was posted to Twitter on March 28, 2019, by a journalist working for the Latin American news outlet TeleSur. The journalist shared the video alongside a tweet stating that it captured tension in front of the Sao Paulo mayor’s office after the mayor refused to meet with a group of Guarani people. The protesters were demanding to speak with the mayor about recent changes to health care services provided to Indigenous communities, according to a local news report from G1, a website operated by the Brazilian outlet Globo. Photos showing the same scene can be found on the stock photo site Alamy and in the Globo report describing the event. Google maps data confirms the location was Sao Paulo’s city hall.

— Sophia Tulp