Angry Victorians have flocked to Melbourne’s CBD to protest forced vaccinations and pandemic laws.
A massive group of protesters rallied in Melbourne’s CBD, expelling pro-Trump slogans and calling for Prime Minister Daniel Andrews to be fired, amid a heated debate over mandatory vaccines and growing frustration with the state government.
The group, estimated to be over 1,000, gathered outside the Victorian parliament on Saturday and protested against forced Covid vaccines, ongoing restrictions on unvaccinated and controversial new pandemic laws.
Protesters could be heard shouting “kill the bill” in reference to laws that were controversial rushing through the lower house earlier in the week.
The laws will give the prime minister the power to declare a pandemic for three months at a time and allow health minister Martin Foley to sign public health orders without the health chief’s approval and is set to replace the powers of state of emergency in December.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews and Labor MPs have come under intense criticism over the legislation, which critics claim would give their government unprecedented power.
The state this month also mandated the Covid vaccine for dozens of sectors, with Andrews telling millions of Victorians that they would have to be vaccinated if they were to continue working.
Authorized workers must be fully vaccinated by November 26th.
The vaccine mandate has since been extended to the social environment of Victoria, with strict restrictions preventing unvaccinated people from entering restaurants, bars and events.
“This is very important to keep case numbers down,” Andrews said.
“This is not about stopping people from going to work, it is about ensuring that we can open up.
“It’s about making sure people can go to work, that they can be safe, and that we can defend and deliver our roadmap for opening.”
But angry protesters, frustrated by the rules, flocked to the streets on Saturday, armed with signs that read “Sack Dan” and “Stop the Bill.”
Other signs that bizarrely denied that Covid was genuine and played into questions about the vaccine’s “long-term health effects”.
People in the crowd could be heard calling the Prime Minister a “crazy” and “delusion” and shouting “save our children, save our future”.
Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr. Dvir Abramovich, said witnesses at the march had given him footage of a man in a concentration camp uniform holding a sign saying “history repeats itself”, supposed to compare Victoria’s public health measures with Nazi Germany’s totalitarian rule during World War II.
“Nothing in Australia even comes close to the indescribable atrocities committed on an industrial scale by the Nazis, and to suggest that we are on our way to Auschwitz is beyond words and separate from reality,” said Dr. Abramovic.
A number of police officers were seen walking next to the crowd as they came through parks and city streets.
The small presence of the police stood in sharp contrast to violent protests in September and October, where protesters clashed violently with the police on the street during the lockdown.
Pictures of Saturday’s protest showed police arresting a protester after he jumped on a police vehicle while protesters surrounded an officer and pushed and pushed him.
It is unclear if there were other arrests.
Victorian independent Catherine Cumming was photographed in front of the audience while shouting “Guy Dan Andrews” and “vote them out” along with other protesters.
She is not the first Victorian state politician seen at an anti-government meeting in which Liberal Democrats’ MP David Limbrick attended anti-lockdown meetings this year.
Earlier this month, Mr Limbrick and Liberal Democrat Tim Quilty refused to hand over their vaccination records, arguing that the rule that ultimately barred them from entering parliament was “undemocratic”.
Liberal Neil Angus in parliament this month also shared his personal concern about the vaccine, saying the safety of the vaccine should be questioned.
“Victoria will become a two-part society. Unvaccinated people will be fired from their jobs and will be excluded from the normal functioning of society,” he said this month.