A protest against Covid-19 vaccination mandates in Melbourne, Australia caused traffic disruption and saw several thousand people encircle the police station.
Crowds of protesters gathered in the capital city of Victoria state on Saturday to decry the region’s sweeping vaccine mandates, which cover the vast majority of occupations, as well as other Covid-related regulations. After the rally ended outside the regional parliament and marched on to Melbourne West Police Station, protestors continued their march.
According to Australian media reports, demonstrators increased in number to many thousand. Young children were reportedly included.
Protesters then surrounded the police station while chanting, “We are here for you.” One person walked in to hand over “A few forms” to the police. Local media reported that the man claimed the officers were “Following directions given by the government is against law.”
Melbourne is thronged with thousands of Victorians in an anti-Dan Andrews demonstration. pic.twitter.com/ZmlYfoS3dI
— The Vigilant Fox (@VigilantFox) December 18, 2021
The rally went smoothly, and the crowd dispersed after several hours.
Australia has seen anti-mandate protests for many weeks. The most notable was in Victoria. These demonstrations lasted several weeks and often reached their peak on weekends. It’s worth noting, however, that protesters in Melbourne were forced to endure 34 degree Celsius heat (93 Fahrenheit) this time.
Slogans during Saturday’s rally ranged from the general “There is no mandate to pay a tax” and “Save our Nation” to religious-themed ones, such as “For our freedoms and yours, in the name of God” as well as “Jesus is the winner”
Some demonstrators, mostly unmasked, also carried placards that offered “Free hugs”
Another recurring theme at these protests are calls to “Sack Dan Andrews,” which refer to Victoria’s premier who, back in November, put in place sweeping vaccine mandates for employees working outside their homes, covering, effectively, most of the state’s industries.
Andrews may now consider requiring booster doses for patients who last received a shot over six months.
This all happens amid an increase in Covid cases, which saw 1,504 new infections as well as seven deaths on Saturday. The state also has 19 Omicron cases.
A similar demonstration, with thousands of people, was also held in Melbourne on Saturday.