Police in Melbourne, Australia, fired rubber bullets into a crowd and arrested more than 200 people protesting Australia’s heavy-handed lockdowns, as the city attempts to maintain strict stay-at-home orders to control the spread of COVID-19.
Australia has adopted some of the most oppressive anti-COVID measures in the world in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
As previously reported on Rebel News, union workers have staged “freedom” protests in Melbourne, which saw massive crowds turn out in oppsition to the city’s lockdown orders.
CNN noted in late August that “until recently the strategy had been largely successful. To date, Australia has seen just 44,026 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 981 deaths. But several major Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, and the capital Canberra, are under lockdown as authorities struggle to contain an outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that loosening the restrictions may be considered once the country’s vaccination rate reaches “70% to 80%.”
Tuesday’s protest, the third consecutive day of protesting, turned violent, with two officers injured as thousands of citizens’ livelihoods have been ground to a halt because of the heavy-handed lockdown measures.
“Golf balls, batteries and bottles were among the items thrown at police during the protests held in defiance of stay-at-home orders after a two-week closure of building sites to rein in infections, which rose again in the state of Victoria,” Reuters reported. “Police are bracing for more demonstrations in the next few days, said deputy commissioner Ross Guenther.”
National Public Radio reports that the protests began with citizens in the trades, whose break rooms have been shuttered over COVID-19 concerns.
“After the government closed down tearooms at work sites, some workers took their lunch breaks outside on Friday. They set up tables and plastic chairs in multiple intersections in central Melbourne, blocking roads and holding up traffic,” the outlet noted. “On Monday, people gathered outside the headquarters of the prominent Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union to protest the mandate, chanting and yelling before attempting to storm the building.”
Authorities placed the blame on “right-wing” agitators, whom they claim infiltrated the ranks of union trade workers who took to the streets to voice their dissent with the city-wide lockdowns.
The Guardian reported on Tuesday that protesters chanted “f*** the jab” and “every day,” indicating a “promise to keep protesting daily until Melbourne’s COVID restrictions are lifted.”