The sweeping restrictions imposed in Australia to blunt the coronavirus outbreak continues to face stiff resistance from anti-lockdown proponents, who have recently intensified their demonstrations against the government.
The Victoria Police in Melbourne clashed with construction workers protesting against vaccine passports and shutdowns who hurled objects and charged at the law enforcement officials. Visuals from the streets of Melbourne display a complete pandemonium as protesters march their way on the streets defying police orders and government mandates.
Victoria police retreat as construction workers protesting vaccine passports & shutdowns throw projectiles & charge. pic.twitter.com/M3TXErfM7H
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) September 21, 2021
The protests by construction workers marks the biggest protests in the country over Covid mandates thus far. The protesters were demonstrating against mandatory vaccinations and other restrictions.
Right now in Melbourne, Australia the most severe clash to date between workers and the state over mandated jabs as thousands of unionized construction tradesmen take the streets.
Victoria Premier Dan Andrews has shut down all construction for two weeks pic.twitter.com/lnM7yi2puS
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 21, 2021
Law enforcement authorities in Australia reportedly resorted to firing rubber bullets to control the mob. The protesters set off flares and allegedly threw urine at reporters. Some sites would be shut down for a duration of two weeks due to the clashes, authorities said.
Several cities across Australia, especially Melbourne and Sydney, have witnessed widespread protests against the draconian shelter-in-home strictures imposed by the government. Restive population have hit the street, in defiance of the law, carrying out demonstrations and protest marches to convey their discontent against the restrictions.
Violent protests erupt in Australia over draconian lockdown restrictions
Last week on Saturday, violence erupted in Melbourne and Sydney after thousands of anti-lockdown protesters gathered on the streets to protest against restrictions imposed by the government in the wake of a renewed bout of COVID-19.
The protests were carried out on a day when the state recorded 535 new cases and 1 death due to COVID-19, around 1,000 protesters defied the stay-in-home orders and gathered in the north-eastern suburbs of Richmond and Hawthorn to mark their opposition to the new set of restrictions enforced to tame the outbreak.
However, protests quickly turned violent as clashes broke out between demonstrators and law enforcement officials. Victoria Police on arrested 235 people and three officers were admitted to hospital following the violent skirmishes between the police and the anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne’s inner city.
Videos of the protests show protesters indulging in riotous behaviour, assaulting police officers and throwing objects, including plastic bottles, cones, at the officials deployed to control the demonstrations. Likewise, chaotic scenes from the streets of Sydney and Brisbane were also witnessed on Saturday last week.
After chafing under weeks of authoritarian restrictions imposed by the government, anti-lockdown protesters have resolutely launched demonstrations to force the authorities to lift the curbs. The protests have come at a time when Australia is grappling with an increasing surge of COVID-19 caseloads, driven by the more transmissible Delta variant, with both Sydney and Melbourne, and the capital Canberra, in strict lockdowns. On Saturday, a total of 1,882 new coronavirus cases were reported, most of them in Sydney.
Australia introduces strict measures to curb COVID-19 outbreak
Earlier this month, in order to curb Covid and secure safety health measures, the Government in Australia had adopted drastic measures that could be termed as direct threats to liberal democracy and freedom. Australians were worried that the government is going to compromise democratic freedom to maintain emergency restrictions in these Covid times.
The Australian Parliament had passed a draconian bill by the federal government, the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 (Identify and Disrupt Bill), which gives unprecedent power to the police to “identify and disrupt suspected online criminal activity”. The new law gave the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission sweeping powers to modify or delete the data of suspected offenders, collect intelligence on criminal networks, and take control of online accounts of suspected offenders.
The law also allowed police to force anyone, including tech companies, to hack accounts of suspected people to modify, add, copy, or delete data of people under probe, and they will be protected from civil liability for such activities. But if they refuse to help the police, they can face imprisonment for up to 10 years. Authorities can force companies and hackers to alter, copy and delete data, intercept and modify communications, surveilling networks, and change account credentials.