Police in Melbourne used tear gas to disperse a violent anti-vaccine protest.
Pepper spray, foam baton rounds, and rubber ball grenades were used by Melbourne riot police to disrupt a violent demonstration over mandated Covid-19 vaccinations for construction workers on Tuesday.
More than 1,000 protesters dressed in work boots and hi-vis jackets marched into the heart of Australia’s second-largest city, throwing flares, bottles, and hitting police cars while chanting anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown slogans.
For the past seven weeks, Melbourne has been under extreme lockdown as it battles an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variety.
Several clusters have been linked to building sites with allegedly lax Covid containment procedures.
As a result, authorities have imposed more stringent restrictions, including the closure of worksite tea rooms, the announcement of required immunization for laborers, and, most recently, the closure of nearly all construction sites for two weeks.
Opponents of the measures clashed with police for hours, disregarding loudspeaker demands to leave and a final warning that “no further warnings will be given.”
About 500 policemen were deployed to the “difficult” situation, according to Victoria state top police commissioner Shane Patton, who stated pepper spray, foam baton rounds, and rubber ball grenades were used.
“These crowd control equipment munitions were and are required because we can no longer tolerate this type of behavior,” he said.
“We will put an end to this demonstration. Then we’ll take a step back and examine and hold accountable those who need to be held accountable.”
At least three police officers were injured, and more than 40 people were arrested, according to Patton.
Protesters took a bridge on one of the city’s main thoroughfares and sung a popular 1990s power rock hit while brandishing “Trump” banners and yelling “you serve us.”
A number of journalists were assaulted, including a television reporter who was smacked in the head with a can live on air, shortly after being sprayed with urine in another incident.
Anti-vaccine radicals and what former Labor Party leader Bill Shorten referred to as “man-baby Nazis” seized the protests, according to union officials.
Followers were encouraged to attend, “bring friends,” and “wear work clothes” on social media platforms where anti-vaccine theories are frequently discussed.
This was the second such demonstration in less than a week.
More than 100 construction workers in high-visibility vests brawled and damaged union office windows in Melbourne’s central business district on Monday.
As a result, officials announced the temporary shutdown of building sites, resulting in the layoff of tens of thousands of people.
“We’ve made it clear that if you don’t follow the regulations, we won’t hesitate to take action. Brief News from Washington Newsday.