Police made several arrests and dispersed a small protest against COVID-19 vaccination rules in Victoria, a day after the state government announced mandatory coverage for nearly a million workers.
the main points:
- All authorized workers are given two weeks to receive at least a first dose of the vaccine
- The group of about 200 people was dispersed as it moved along the botanical gardens
- Several protesters were arrested
The Victorian government set yesterday Two weeks deadline to vaccinate all authorized workers with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
About one million Victorians are currently considered licensed workers.
Similar rules apply to authorized workers in local government areas of interest in NSW.
A group of about 200 protesters walked from the Royal Botanic Gardens, across Southbank and in the direction of Remembrance Brilliance.
Chanting “My body, my choice” – a slogan usually associated with the pro-choice abortion movement and often used by people now against mandatory vaccinations – the demonstrators held a banner reading “Freedom” and chanted other slogans, such as “We are peaceful” and “United people will never be defeated.” “.
Victoria Police officers tracked down the group and made several arrests.
Under Melbourne’s lockdown rules, people are allowed to meet in groups of five fully vaccinated people from two recreation beds, or as two people who have not been fully vaccinated.
Exercise and recreation are allowed within 15 kilometers from home, and masks outside must be warned.
Unlike in late September, when violent scenes erupted at the memorial shrine, the group was dispersed before it reached the memorial site.
The leaderless protest movement has been largely linked to far-right groups, with some experts expressing concerns that people with legitimate concerns have been hacked by instigators.
The group was largely split up in the early afternoon, but protesters using encrypted messaging apps suggested they might meet elsewhere.
The vaccination mandate has met with mixed reactions from industry groups.
Several stakeholder groups fully supported the move, while some wanted more consultation from the government.
Advocacy group Liberty Victoria said widespread use of mandate vaccines should be a last resort.
Instead, the group said, time-limited incentives such as vaccine passports are preferable.
Victoria is on track to vaccinate the vast majority of its adult population within the coming months, with 81.5 per cent of those aged 16 and over receiving at least one dose.
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