Tens of thousands of people gathered in Australia’s largest cities as part of a worldwide protest against long-term lockdowns.
The Freedom Rally expresses discontent with mandatory lockdowns and restrictions that help contain the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus. Many demonstrators complained about being unable to find work, receive federal assistance, or even exercise their fundamental rights.
The Sydney lockdown has lasted four weeks with no end in sight. This is blamed on center-right Liberal New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian insisting on a so-called “Covid-zero” policy, which indefinitely keeps people at home.
The group claims it disrupted this policy on July 24 with an anti-lockdown march moving through the downtown area.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys described the protest as a “disastrous” blow to Berejiklian’s plan to only allow essential employees to leave home for work.
“It is not really the time for people to come together closely, to exercise somewhat they would think was their democratic right and it may well be,” he said according to the Daily Mail.
Freedom Rally organizers had sought prior permission to protest but were refused due to the lockdown. The event still continued as planned between Victoria Park in Camperdown and Hyde Park, Sydney. BL understands the initial group of hundreds quickly grew to thousands of protesters.
As they marched through numerous CCP Virus hotspots, demonstrators chanted “freedom!”
“Drop your mask, raise your voice,” one placard said. Other signs said, “I am not a bio-hazard” and “my rights are essential.”
Another sign made a reference to Black Lives Matter rallies that authorities allowed to proceed despite earlier lockdowns. “Western Sydney Lives Matter,” the placard in question said.
However, police did not recognize the group’s freedom to assemble under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Officers swiftly arrested 57 demonstrators for refusing to go home.
At least 250 penalties were issued across the Premier State in the past 24 hours for violating public health orders. A strike-force has also been established to identify those who attended the rally. Police separately fined people simply for attending small birthday parties.
The rally ended outside Town Hall due to a very heavy police presence. Around 2:40 p.m. local time officers warned the group to leave otherwise they would be pepper sprayed.
Protesters retaliated by throwing objects at mounted police. Barriers were erected across George Street, and traffic slowed until Hyde Park where officers and protesters faced off.
Similar rallies were held in Melbourne, Victoria and Brisbane, Queensland. Hundreds of people gathered in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens to defy the State Government’s mask mandate.
More than 1,000 protesters in downtown Melbourne set flames outside the State Parliament building. They reminded civil servants, “You work for us.” Police managed to contain the group at the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets.
“I am against lockdowns; they are killing my business,” one protester who covered his face said according to the Daily Mail. “That is why we are all here.”
Repeated lockdowns are driving ordinary Australians into crippling debt and psychological turmoil. Demonstrations have long been regarded as an unalienable civil right in the Lucky Country.
According to Rebel News the Freedom Protest is not actually an “anti-vax” rally, rather community action against regulatory overreach during the pandemic.