Demonstrations Ongoing

Sep 23, 2021

On 22 September 2021, demonstrations against the ongoing coronavirus-related lockdown and mandatory COVID-19 vaccines in the construction industry turned violent for a third consecutive day in the southeastern city of Melbourne. An estimated 300 people had gathered near the Shrine of Remembrance in central Melbourne, where a group of individuals threw projectiles at police officers. In response, officers deployed tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the gathering. As protesters fled via nearby streets, a vehicle also crashed into a tram. Two police officers suffered injuries in the violence, and more than 200 individuals were detained. Other smaller groups of demonstrators rallied largely peacefully in the streets of the central business district. While the demonstrations were notably smaller compared to the previous day, authorities anticipate additional rallies in Melbourne in the coming days. Workers in the construction industry resent the Victoria state government’s decision to shut down construction sites in the Melbourne area following the 20 September violent protests, as well as the mandate to have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine before returning to work on 5 October.

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