Traffic was blocked in both directions on Melbourne’s West Gate Freeway on Tuesday after people closed the road angry over forced vaccinations. The protest in the Australian city was just as violent as the first on Monday.
The government of the province of Victoria demanded that construction workers be vaccinated, and the Union of Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy (CFMEU) supported the decision. Many of the workers were outraged and plan to hold daily meetings to make their point.
Tuesday’s protest began outside the CFMEU office in the morning, which was… destroyed during the protest the previous day. Thousands of protesters, many in orange and yellow construction uniforms, then marched through the streets of Melbourne. They chanted slogans like “Every day” and “F**k the prick” en route.
Hundreds of construction workers and far-right protesters arrive at the Victorian Parliament, where mounted officers and riot police are protecting the front steps. They walked through the city from the CFMEU office @the agepic.twitter.com/0LvotOCO6k
— Paul Sakkal (@paulsakkal) September 21, 2021
The crowd was furious and threw projectiles at riot police, who were deployed by the hundreds in response to the event. There were some serious clashes between the protesters and the police.
The protesters reached the West Gate Freeway, blocking traffic in both directions and occupying the West Gate bridge. The takeover was celebrated with triumphant singing.
Victorian construction industry was ordered to shut down for at least two weeks following Monday’s violence and a previous discovery of… “widespread non-compliance” with government health guidelines. The CFMEU blamed the riots “neo-nazis and other far-right groups”, claiming they had infiltrated the protest movement.
The anti-jab demonstrations are a highly polarizing problem in Australia, with many people strongly supporting or vocally criticizing the workers.
Residents of Victoria in general and Melbourne in particular experienced some of the world’s toughest lockdown measures as the Australian government tried to contain Covid-19. Police have enforced the policy and cracked down on dissenters using tactics that many believe have crossed the line.
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