Thousands of people have marched in “freedom” rallies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, with the largest crowds in the Victorian capital as protests against state government pandemic legislation intensified again.
Protesters marched from Victoria’s state parliament, down Bourke Street and into Flagstaff Gardens, carrying Australian flags and posters with slogans against vaccines, the blockade and the government, while shouting “Kill the bill”, “take out Dan Andrews “and” Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi ”.
The rally spawned a significant increase in the number after weeks of protests against the Victorian Prime Minister’s Public Health and Welfare (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021, which previously came to a head last weekend, when thousands people marched through central Melbourne in a demonstration that included a prop gallows, protesters posing with ropes and chants of “hang Dan Andrews.”
The bill presented by the Victorian government would allow the prime minister to make an indefinite declaration of pandemic and state of emergency, give the health minister power to issue general public health orders, and give authorized officers the power to detain people in quarantine.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has been racing to pass anti-pandemic legislation before the state of emergency expires on December 15.
If the bill is not passed, the Victorian government may not have the legal framework to enforce and create Covid-19 orders to handle the pandemic. The invoice has been criticized by the Victoria Law Institute, the Victoria Bar Association and the Human Rights Law Center, which say it lacks oversight and transparency.
Speakers at the Melbourne rally included right-wing fringe expert Morgan C Jonas and Harrison McLean, who was charged earlier this year with incitement for allegedly encouraging people to violate the health director’s instructions regarding protests from Melbourne on September 18, in the middle of the city’s sixth lockdown.
Speakers took credit for the pandemic bill being delayed in parliament this week and called on the crowd to “do everything possible to rid our parliament of those treacherous politicians.”
At least one protester was arrested before the police took him away.
A counter-demonstration organized by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, a coalition of progressive activists and left-wing organizations, which gathered at the Eight Hour Day Memorial in Carlton, drew a crowd of between 300 and 500 people.
While it initially seemed like a confrontation was imminent, the anti-fascist protesters took a route through Carlton rather than making their way to the CBD.
Nahui Jiménez, a campaign organizer, said Saturday that the purpose of the rally was to draw attention to conspiracy theorists and far-right elements that were a feature of the “freedom” demonstrations.
“Hostility toward vaccines and other important health measures has become a gateway to the extreme right globally,” Jiménez said. “We will not allow fascist groups to spread their intolerance and occupy our streets without resistance.”
The Victorian Parliament was the scene of horrific scenes this week as protesters took to the front steps to demonstrate against proposed pandemic laws.
A crowd carried out a mock execution of the prime minister using wooden pitchforks Monday night, while another protester attended an earlier protest with three ropes in an apparent reference to crusaders who have supported the bill. Figures associated with the neo-Nazi movement were also reported to have joined the protests.
In Sydney on Saturday, several thousand protesters also marched through the CBD.
The sound of bagpipes echoed down York Street as a man in white shouted “destroy the new world order” and others chanted “walk with us.”
A Sydney protester carried a “remove the bill” sign, despite the fact that there is no such bill in New South Wales, while others waved Australian flags.
United Australia Party Leader and Federal MP Craig Kelly addressed the crowd at Martin Place after attending a protest in Melbourne last weekend.
“We will hold all politicians and bureaucrats responsible for imposing injections on the people of Australia,” he said, chanting “fire them all.”
The party’s founder and former senator, Clive Palmer, was seen at the sister rally at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
When a protester asked the Brisbane crowd in a speech what they thought of Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk, someone yelled, “Hang the bitch.”
It came after Queensland MP Brittany Lauga contacted the police after she and other members of the state parliament received an email containing “threats of terrorism, extremism and violence.”
“I understand that local doctors have been sent death threats and other threatening letters,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I unequivocally condemn these threats of violence, terrorism and extremism. This is not a peaceful protest. “
On Friday, key Victorian MP Andy Meddick revealed that his daughter Kielan had allegedly been attacked on a Fitzroy street the night before and suffered a head injury after being confronted by an unknown man about spray paint on a poster. anti-vax.
The incident led to the conviction of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.
Experts say protesters in Melbourne have capitalized on criticism of the bill to maintain momentum from anti-government protests, which began as protests against the shutdown last year, morphed into protests against the vaccination mandate in July and they were driven by outraged construction workers in September after the two-week shutdown of the state’s construction industry.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism