Thousands of working Australians publicly protested COVID-19 tyranny on Monday and Tuesday after the Victoria state government mandated the virus vaccine for workers.
The protests largely consisted of construction workers who pledged to march through the streets of the nation’s second-largest city until its COVID-19 restrictions are removed. Workers started their marches on Monday and Tuesday by chanting “f-ck the jab” and “every day” but some sects of the protests quickly turned to chaos.
— Suzan Delibasic (@suzandelibasic) September 21, 2021
Reports suggest that hundreds of riot police “deployed pepper balls, foam baton rounds, smoke bombs and stinger grenades” at demonstrators who allegedly threw projectiles at law enforcement and even journalists. More than 60 demonstrators have been arrested as protests continue for the third day.
Australia is home to some of the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions in the world. For more than a year, Australians have been locked away in their homes at the will of their state governments. The governments’ draconian policies have separated families, cut Australians off from travel, and imposed curfews all in the name of keeping COVID off the continent.
The country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously acknowledged that these restrictions are “not a sustainable way to live in this country,” but that hasn’t stopped state governments from cutting their residents off from a “return to normal.”
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, who previously threatened to keep Melbourne locked down until at least 70 percent of its citizens have received their COVID-19 shots, condemned the protests.
“Anger isn’t going to make this pandemic end any quicker,” Andrews tweeted. “Acts of violence like we’ve seen in the city in the last two days isn’t going to stop people ending up in ICU, or be any help to the nurses treating them. Literally only one thing will — getting vaccinated.”
Anger isn't going to make this pandemic end any quicker.
Acts of violence like we've seen in the city in the last two days isn't going to stop people ending up in ICU, or be any help to the nurses treating them.
Literally only one thing will – getting vaccinated.
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) September 21, 2021