Anti-vaccination protestors have clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators as mass rallies kick off in 13 cities around Australia.
The anti-fascists interrupted a ‘freedom rally’ being staged by thousands of anti-vaxxers in Melbourne on Saturday.
Demonstrators have also staged protests in 12 other cities including Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide as a mass-coordinated attempt to rally against vaccine mandates and quarantine rules.
Anti-fascists claim the demonstrations have been hijacked by far-right groups with protestors chanting several insults at the anti-vaccine demonstrators.
‘Melbourne is an anti-fascist town’, ‘neo-Nazis off our streets’ and ‘stand against the far right’ are among the phrases being chanted.
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)
Demonstrators have waved 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.
One protestor 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.
Anti-fascists have also made an appearance after vowing to disrupt the ‘freedom rallies’ that they claim have been hijacked by far-right groups.
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.
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’.
Anti-fascists have also made an appearance after vowing to disrupt the ‘freedom rallies’ that they claim have been hijacked by far-right groups
‘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’.
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.
Protests are planned in thirteen cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Hobart.
‘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’
Protesters have listed a series of demands, including ending vaccine mandates, lockdown measures, ‘medical discrimination’ and ‘unlawful quarantine detention’.
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’.
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’.