‘Freedom rallies’ against COVID restrictions, vaccines across Australia amid counter warning

Anti-fascists have vowed to counter-rally against another wave of planned “freedom rallies” they claim have been infiltrated by far-right groups.

A series of protests against vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions has been flagged for Saturday in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart, as well as other regional centres, with details circulated via an encrypted social media platform.

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.

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.

That’s prompted 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 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.


Related Articles

Back to top button