Mass anti-vaccination protests have erupted in 13 cities around Australia with the Melbourne demonstration interrupted by residents fed-up by the rallies.
Thousands of demonstrators have taken part in ‘freedom rallies’ and marched on the streets to protest against vaccine mandates and quarantine rules on Saturday.
Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne are among the 13 cities that have become overrun with demonstrators.
Melbourne demonstrators were met by peaceful protestors who have grown weary of the ongoing rallies to plague their city – with at least one rally held every weekend for the past month – and countless more violent ones staged during the pandemic.
Anti-fascists had earlier warned they would be gatecrashing the rally as they believed the demonstrations had been hijacked by far-right groups.
‘All you fascists – about to lose’, ‘you’re anti-vax, you’re anti-health – you can go f**k yourself’, are among the phrases being chanted by the protestors.
A ‘freedom rally’ protestor wearing a ‘My Body, My Choice’ t-shirt marches on the street in Melbourne
Thousands of protestors have staged anti-vaccination rallies around Australia with demonstrations breaking out in Sydney and Melbourne (pictured, Sydney)
The ‘freedom rallies’ have already kicked off in the NSW and Victoria capital cities with more demonstrations on the way in 11 other cities on Saturday (pictured, Melbourne)
Brisbane , Perth , Adelaide , Hobart and other regional centres are among the places where protestors plan to march on the street (pictured, Sydney)
MP Catherine Cumming attends the ‘freedom rally’ as it takes off in Melbourne on Saturday
Anti-fascists have also made an appearance after vowing to disrupt the ‘freedom rallies’ that they claim have been hijacked by far-right groups
Protestors are also waving banners with several anti-fascist messages including ‘Melbourne is an anti-fascist town’, ‘neo-Nazis off our streets’ and ‘stand against the far right’.
Anti-vaccination demonstrators have waved their own placards condemning vaccine mandates and comparing them to ‘segregation’.
‘Hands Off Our Kids’, ‘End Segregation Now’, and ‘Let Hearts Heal’ are among the messages written on the banners.
Premier Daniel Andrews was another popular focal point of the demonstrators with several mock-up placards made up of the premier.
One placard showed a photoshopped image of Mr Andrews dressed in an orange, prison jumpsuit while another one superimposed buck teeth over his mouth – comparing the premier to a rat.
Several banners took aim at Mr Andrews and included messages, ‘Dan Andrews Human Rights Abuser’, ‘Everything Dan Touches Turns To Sh**’, and ‘Jail Andrews’.
One demonstrator appeared to make a mockery of the face mask mandate by wearing the face covering with a hole cut out in the middle of it.
The mass rally has drawn the support from politicians including Independent MP Catherine Cumming.
The rally in Sydney appeared more subdued with a smaller group gathering in Hyde Park.
Peaceful demonstrators tired by the ongoing rallies also set up stalls in Newtown, in Sydney’s inner west.
Victorian parliament has been the site of ugly scenes this week as protesters occupied the front steps to demonstrate against the state’s proposed pandemic laws.
A crowd staged a mock execution of the premier using wooden gallows on Monday evening, while another demonstrator attended an earlier protest with three nooses in an apparent reference to crossbenchers who have supported the bill.
‘Pro-vax, Anti-Fascist’ banner is carried by peaceful protestors rallying against the ‘freedom’ demonstrators
Demonstrators storm the steps outside Victoria Parliament to protest against vaccine mandates
The largest demonstrations have been staged in Melbourne with thousands of protestors turning up
Anti-fascist protestors set up a stall in Newtown, Sydney, which read: ‘Pro vax, pro union, anti-fascist’
A demonstrator in Newtown, Sydney, with a sign that reads: ‘Pro science, anti violence’
Melbourne was overrun with a mix of demonstrators on Saturday – some protested the vaccine mandate, others protested against the protest
It has been reported figures associated with the neo-Nazi movement have joined the protests, prompting a call by a broad group of progressive activists and left-wing organisations to gather for counter rallies.
Organiser Nahui Jimenez said the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism rallies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth were designed to draw public attention to the ‘growth of conspiratorial, anti-human and fascistic politics’.
‘Hostility to vaccines has become a gateway to the far-right globally,’ she said.
‘We will not allow fascist groups to propagate their bigotry and occupy our streets without resistance.’
Their Melbourne event is planned to take place close to the other protest, but Ms Jimenez said the group will not seek a confrontation as part of the push to ‘take back our city’.
Protestors raise their fists in solidarity during the ‘freedom’ rally in Melbourne on Saturday
The Eureka Flag is a common sighting at the ‘freedom’ rally (pictured, demonstrators in Sydney)
A protestor holds a mock-banner of Daniel Andrews dressed in a prison jumpsuit as rallies unfolded in Melbourne
A demonstrator chants over the megaphone as the protestors march in Melbourne on Saturday
Protestor wearing a decorated mining hit and holding up a banner at the Melbourne rally
Victoria Police has warned residents to expect travel disruption in the CBD throughout the day, advising people to be patient, use public transport and allow extra time for their journey.
Protesters are planning to cause more chaos across Australia this weekend as part of a mass day of action against mandatory Covid vaccines.
Anti-vaccine demonstrators have circulated flyers on social media and encrypted messaging app Telegram calling for Australians to rally for a ‘Worldwide Rally For Freedom’ on Saturday at 12pm.
Protesters have listed a series of demands, including ending vaccine mandates, lockdown measures, ‘medical discrimination’ and ‘unlawful quarantine detention’.
One protestor marching in Melbourne waves a sign that reads: ‘Freedom to choose without discrimination’
Thousands of demonstrators march down the street in Melbourne to protest against vaccine mandates and quarantine rules
Another protestor with a mock-up banner comparing Daniel Andrews to a rat as the march unfolded in Melbourne
Police form a line along Spring Street as they prepare to meet the protestors in Melbourne
Peaceful protestors disrupt the ‘freedom’ rally accusing the far-right of hijacking the demonstrations for their own cause
The Sydney protest meanwhile promises a speech from controversial United Australia Party anti-vax MP Craig Kelly.
The protests have been organised online using the hashtags #FreeAustralia and #wewillallbethere.
The planned rallies come after thousands of angry protesters stormed the Melbourne CBD on Saturday to demonstrate against mandatory vaccinations and new laws set to be introduced by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
The anti-government demonstrators marched through the city shouting ‘kill the bill’ last Saturday as they carried flags and provocative banners targeting the premier.
Families and young children were among the crowd, which included activists carrying a fake gallows and wearing horror movie masks.
One man’s sign depicted Andrews wearing a Nazi officer’s uniform and cap, another showed him as a gremlin and others simply displayed his face above words including ‘liar’ and ‘scum’.
‘Freedom’ protesters rallying against Covid vaccine mandates are planning their latest day of demonstrations across Australia on Saturday. Pictured: Anti-vaccine protesters in Melbourne in September
Flyers circulating on social media and encrypted messaging app Telegram are calling for Australians to rally for a ‘Worldwide Rally For Freedom’
Thousands of ‘pro-choice’ and anti-vax protesters marched in Melbourne on Saturday against mandatory vaccination and a proposed expansion of the premier’s powers
Organisers in Sydney promise a speech from controversial United Australia Party anti-vax MP Craig Kelly
The Adelaide protest flyer list a series of demands, including ending ‘vaccine mandates’, ‘medical discrimination’ and ‘unlawful quarantine detention’
Protesters within the crowd chanted ‘sack Dan Andrews’ as they headed for Victorian State Parliament.
At Parliament House on Spring Street, the crowd was confronted with a line of Victorian mounted police.
Many of the demonstrators claimed they were not anti-vax, just opposed to Victorians being forced to get vaccinated.
Many others appeared supportive of popular conspiracy theories too.
Some carried obvious anti-vax messages, others bore anarchy insignia, attacked major media in their signs.
‘Pro-choice’ protestors, including one in a horror movie mask, flooded Melbourne streets displaying protest banners and even a fake gallows to protest the Andrews government on Saturday
The huge crowd was in the thousands – estimated as much as 20,000 by rogue MP Craig Kelly, who gave a dramatic speech
One man, who wore an Akubra and the flag as a cape, proudly displayed an ‘Infowars’ t-shirt in reference to discredited American extremist Alex Jones.
The law the ‘kill the bill’ signs refers to would give the premier the power to make pandemic ‘declarations’ which could be extended by three-months at a time – for as long as he deemed necessary.
Many held signs, some of which read ‘coercion is not consent’ and ‘Dan is the virus’.
Other messages included ‘the ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves it children’.
Covid-19 Australia: Anti-vaccination rallies erupt in Melbourne and Sydney and other cities