The Victorian government closed construction sites for two weeks and forced all construction workers to receive at least one dose of the vaccine by 23 September. He also reported that before October 5 they will have to submit a vaccination certificate or they will be dismissed from their jobs.
This decision led to stormy demonstrations in the streets of Melbourne.
During Monday’s protests, employees pushed union activists associated with the construction industry to the headquarters of the Construction, Forestry, Marine, Mining and Energy Federation (CFMEU).
Bottles, cans, and pallets were moving. Workers smashed the windows of a building they had poured paint on. The police used rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators. More than 60 people were arrested.
But this was only the beginning, because on Tuesday workers staged much larger demonstrations and closed the busy Westgate Expressway completely in Melbourne. At the Victorian Freedom Gathering, they shouted the word “daily”, declaring that they would protest every day until their demands – the resignation of local government, a complete end to the Australian lockdown, lifting of vaccination and sanitation orders – were met.
The protests turned brutal as workers entered Melbourne – construction workers surrounded the local parliament building, attacked police cars, threw bottles and stones at fleeing police, and blocked all busy streets and bridges. Uniforms tried to respond with pepper spray and smoke grenades, but later – apparently not adapted to the situation – rubber bullets were fired to disperse the demonstrators. Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell said the conflict between police and protesters had “turned into a siege”.
“One of the largest cities in Australia is mired in chaos” – the “Australian” commented on a regular basis, and several hundred recordings showing horrific scenes of the fight were posted on the Internet. 10 policemen were injured, and more than 200 people were arrested.
Wednesday also saw more demonstrations and battles with the police, as 215 people were arrested, according to Reuters. To prevent further unrest, authorities on Thursday called for the army’s help and sent hundreds of heavily armed police into the streets. However, the riots could not be prevented and more than 90 people were detained for their participation.
A Victoria State Police spokesperson said: “Once again, we encourage anyone considering coming into town without a legitimate purpose to stay home and follow the recommendations of the Director of Health.” “The police will continue to provide a very visible presence throughout the city in the coming days,” he added.
Melbourne’s deputy commissioner, Ross Gunther, also warned against “taking out on the city streets” and said the uniform had “sufficient resources” and was preparing for the coming days of demonstrations.
Netizens describe the atmosphere in Melbourne as very tense. They comment on this by saying: “It seems more like the beginning of a revolution than a demonstration or a strike.”
There are also voices that say “it is better for the government to withdraw, otherwise it will risk a revolution” – another writes. “Prime Minister Morrison is losing his country. Australia is on the verge of a real revolution,” the user wrote on Twitter after the Australian Prime Minister’s meeting with Boris Johnson.
Shane Patton, Victoria State Police Commissioner, described the workers’ behavior as “shameful”. “Crowds are cowards who want to hide their identity,” he criticized the people who caused the riots.
Victorian nurses urged protesters to “stop thinking only of themselves”, The Australian newspaper reported.
The construction sector may face further restrictions, including the suspension of operations. State authorities released data showing that up to 73 percent. On construction sites, applicable anti-Covid regulations were violated.
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