Australians took to the streets for another protest in Melbourne in the state of Victoria on Saturday after the government announced a sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all “authorised workers.”
Victorian residents took to the streets and congregated in a group that marched along Southbank Boulevard and the track around Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Participants carried a large white banner with the word “Freedom” and voiced their dissent against vaccine mandates, lockdowns, and the current state government.
A video from citizen journalist Rukshan Fernando showed the protesters marching peacefully and yelling slogans such as “my body my choice” and “freedom! … now!” Two black umbrellas can be seen with the words, “coercion is not consent,” and “sack Dan the dictator.”
At one point after the crowd had dispersed, Fernando can be heard speaking to a woman off-camera, who tells him, “I’m a teacher who’s going to lose my job … all the teachers out there who are going to have to say bye to their kids,” before she can be heard crying.
“Why are you emotional today?” Fernando asked the woman, who did not want to appear on camera.
“Because I’m going to have to say goodbye to my class and they’ve been through enough [expletive], and I’m going to have to say goodbye to them just because I won’t get a jab, and haven’t they been through enough?”
Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, announced on Friday that everyone with a job on the state’s “authorised worker” list must have a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15, and a second dose by Nov. 26 to keep working on site, lest they risk losing their job.
The requirement covers a vast range of professions spanning 1 million to 1.25 million people in Victoria. The vaccination deadline is separate from another deadline that’s being imposed on those working in aged care, healthcare, construction, education, and freight.
The demonstrators on Saturday ultimately met with a heavy police presence. At one point, a group of about two dozen police officers can be seen chasing after the group of protesters, while one person can be heard yelling, “[Expletive] you, Victoria police! Shame on you!”
Officers can be seen tackling several protesters to the ground and arresting them. Some police officers were on horses as they chased the protesters in the park. A helicopter can be heard flying overhead. According to Fernando’s live video, the group had stayed together for at least 40 minutes before breaking up due to police intervention.
This is an excerpt from The Epoch Times.
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