Citizens in Australia’s largest cities have taken to the streets in protest of strict coronavirus lockdowns and mandatory vaccination for workers, with police Wednesday in Melbourne firing rubber bullets, stinger grenades and pepper balls on the third day of violent demonstrations.
Residents of Melbourne have been under a strict lockdown for 230 days that includes a 9 p.m. curfew. Police arrested 215 protesters throughout the day, and two officers suffered head injuries.
“I’ve grown up here my entire life in Australia, I can’t believe that I’m seeing this in my state as well,” said Australian journalist Rukshan Fernando in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
Ingraham said that for a moment, she thought she was seeing scenes from China. In only months, she said, Australia “has gone from one of the world’s freest countries to what is essentially a bio-medical police state.”
“China’s looking very rapaciously at Australia but it looked more like something at Tiananmen Square than you’d expect from Australia,” Ingraham said on her program Tuesday night.
Many Australians have posted videos on social media to document the strict enforcement of the country’s COVID policies.
One shows a police officer at a transportation station in Melbourne running from behind a man and slamming him violently to the floor.
This is NOT North Korea.
This is NOT China.
This is Melbourne 2021. pic.twitter.com/fVxQiIfLgl
— Prof. Freedom (@prof_freedom) September 22, 2021
In New South Wales, a mother, with a small child, who apparently was staging a peaceful protest on a sidewalk, is seen being hauled way by police as her child cries.
Police in Melbourne on Wednesday are seen in the two videos below firing rubber bullets at protesters. The second shows police firing at the backs of people running away:
In this video, police on Monday warn protesters to disperse “or force will be used.” The protesters, fronted by a “freedom” sign, chant in defiance “Every day, every day, every day!”
This is so robocop creepy pic.twitter.com/r49cRb1pZZ
— NEWS MAKER (@NEWS_MAKER) September 22, 2021
Demonstrators in Melbourne on Wednesday chanted “lest we forget” as they stood in front of a World War II monument.
Echoing an FAA order last week grounding a Fox News drone from broadcasting aerial shots of the U.S. border crisis, Sky News Australia reported Wednesday that Victoria police have applied to put a “No-Fly Order” on media aircraft to prevent them from filming future demonstrations.
— WakeUpHumans (@Thunderace4) September 22, 2021
On Tuesday, some 2,000 tradesmen and anti-vaccination and freedom campaigners demonstrated against a two-week shutdown of the construction industry imposed due to rising COVID cases.
One demonstrator videoed his exchange with a police officer who said he sympathized with the protests but was just doing his job.
“We’re getting paid to do this. I’m just as over this protest as you are — by protest I mean lockdown —but unfortunately, I gotta do what I gotta do. I’m not skilled to do anything else,” the officer said.
“We’re getting paid to do this. I’m just as over this protest as you are—by protest I mean lockdown—but unfortunately, I gotta do what I gotta do. I’m not skilled to do anything else.”
Don’t be fooled by the tough gear. This is what cowardice looks like.https://t.co/ZOHBUS6WuM
— Michael P Senger (@MichaelPSenger) September 21, 2021
Melbourne protesters on Saturday chanted to police officers “Shame on you!”
Melbourne protest pic.twitter.com/VfgJ5KmV8m
— Martin Allan (@MartinfromOz) September 18, 2021
Police uses pepper spray to subdue protesters in Melbourne on Saturday.
JUST IN 🚨 Scenes from a freedom rally in Australia — Police uses capsicum spray to subdue protesters at an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne. pic.twitter.com/62LFa7zKS4
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) September 18, 2021
From Melbourne today.
If you thought you were going to die from COVID, you wouldn’t protest like this.
Rather, Australians think they are going to die at the hands of an authoritarian government.pic.twitter.com/gJWuJXyPNO
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) September 21, 2021
A tradesman took his life at a building site in Melbourne hours after the government announced a shutdown of construction sites as punishment for vaccine hesitancy among workers.
Last November, Australia boasted that its “zero COVID” policy based on “faith in science” had “almost eliminated” COVID-19. But since them, cases have risen more than 19,000%.
Well I checked on Australia again to see if the endless lockdowns & police enforced beach mask wearing had brought cases back down yet, but nope, not yet
We’re up to a 19,511% increase since the Washington Post said they’d “almost eliminated” COVID with faith in science
— Ian Miller (@ianmSC) September 17, 2021
Earlier this month, a satricial montage of the many COVID pronouncements of the premier of the state of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, was posted on Twitter.
Last week, Reuters reported New South Wales and Victoria, which comprise more than half of Australia’s 25 million people, are testing facial recognition software that enables police check whether or not people are home during COVID-19 quarantine.
See the satirical video:
Meanwhile, in Canada this week, thousands of doctors and other medical professionals held a silent protest against vaccine mandates.