Police arrested more than 100 people and spread a small protest against COVID-19 vaccination policies, a day after the state government announced mandatory coverage for nearly a million workers.
- All authorized workers were given two weeks to get at least one initial dose of a vaccine
- The group of about 200 people scattered as it moved along the Botanic Gardens
- Police arrested 109 people and said they would maintain a prominent presence at any future rally
The Victorian government set yesterday a two -week deadline for all authorized workers to be vaccinated with at least one dose of one COVID-19 vaccine.
Approximately 1 million Victorian people are currently considered authorized workers.
Similar policies apply to authorized workers in local government areas of concern in New South Wales.
A group of nearly 200 protesters walked from the Royal Botanic Gardens, through the Southbank and towards the Shine of Remembrance.
Pronouncing slogans such as “my body, my choice” – a slogan commonly associated with the pro -choice abortion movement and now often used by people against mandatory vaccination – demonstrators held up a banner which reads “freedom”.
Victoria Police officers trained the group on its move.
A spokesman later confirmed officers arrested 109 people “for various offenses” and issued 108 penalty notices for violating lockdown orders.
“Victoria Police will continue to have a visible presence to maintain public safety, and to ensure any protest activity that violates the CHO’s directions does not affect the right of the wider community to do their part. everyday life, ”a spokesman said.
Under Melbourne’s lockdown rules, people are allowed to meet in groups of five fully vaccinated from two households for recreation, or as two people who are not fully vaccinated.
Exercise and recreation are allowed within 15 kilometers from the house, and masks must be warned outside.
Unlike in late September, where violent scenes erupted at the Shrine of Remembrance, the group dispersed before it reached the memorial site.
The more leaderless protest movement has been linked to right-wing groups, with some experts expressing fears that people with legitimate concerns have been infiltrated by irritants.
While the group was further broken by the early afternoon, plans rolled out in encrypted messaging apps to converge at a different location were not fixed in significant numbers.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said today that business groups are “crying out for the state” to mandate to protect workers.
He said that, if people hoped to return to work immediately without being vaccinated, history has shown that the “destructive virus” is not easily gone.
“One thing that can weaken our resolution in the community is people not doing it right and being vaccinated,” he said.
He warned that it would not be a “short-term aberration” and authorities needed to interact with people concerned about vaccination.
The vaccination mandate was met with mixed reaction from industry groups.
Many stakeholder groups fully supported the move, while some wanted more consultants from the government.
Liberty Victoria’s advocacy group said the widespread use of vaccine mandates should be a last resort.
Instead, the group said it prefers limited time incentives such as vaccine passports.
Victoria is on track to have the majority of the adult population vaccinated within the coming months, with 81.5 per cent of those aged 16 and over already receiving at least one dose.
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