Australians Again Hold Protest Against COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Demonstrators again marched in Australia’s second-largest city on Wednesday. They are protesting against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination regulations in the construction industry.

Police said 44 people were arrested among hundreds of protesters on Tuesday.

The protests that have been going on for the past two days are aimed at the Victorian state government’s mandate to require construction workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Australian PM Scott Morrison told reporters in Washington DC that the activity in Melbourne was “deeply concerning.”

Morrison said, “I can understand that people will be concerned about the shutdown of the construction industry. This is an important job and they will return to work. We’ll get through this. But the protest activity and what we saw there was, in my opinion, very sad, and that’s not the right response in an effort to deal with an outbreak like this.”

The march came two days after riot police were brought in to disperse around 500 demonstrators who broke down the doors of the offices of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Workers Union, which represents construction workers.

Riot police prepare to disperse protesters against COVID-19-related mandates for the construction industry in Melbourne, Australia, September 22, 2021.

Riot police prepare to disperse protesters against COVID-19-related mandates for the construction industry in Melbourne, Australia, September 22, 2021.

On Monday evening, Victoria announced that the construction industry would be closed from Tuesday (21/9) for two weeks in metropolitan Melbourne and some regional areas.

Officials say all workplaces need to demonstrate compliance with health guidelines before they reopen. This includes staff getting at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before they return to work on October 5. [uh/lt]

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