Victoria Police did not reveal the crowd size but judging by pictures and videos on social media, thousands of demonstrators lined the streets of Melbourne's central business district (CBD) on Saturday, peacefully protesting the Victorian government's new, proposed pandemic powers and vaccine measures.
According to The Epoch Times, the proposed COVID law would give Premier Daniel Andrews "unprecedented power" to declare a pandemic and impose lockdowns. He would then be able to allow himself to dictate emergency powers for up to three months. There was no cap on how long the emergency powers could be extended.
In a liberal democracy, Australians have never seen this type of control in their lifetimes and are outraged. Today, the crowd chanted "kill the bill" and "sack Dan Andrews" as they brought parts of the CBD to a screeching halt by blocking roads and public transportation. Long lines of demonstrators stretched from the Victorian State Library to Parliament House in Spring Street.
Australia 🇦🇺— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 13, 2021
Huge protests In Melbourne today against the Victoria State Government’s draconian measures and vaccine mandates / passports. And yet most of the media will either ignore this or frame thus as an anti-vax rally.#NoVaccinePassports pic.twitter.com/LtRLxUKYJq
Rebel News said "tens of thousands have gathered" in today's protest.
#BREAKING Tens of thousands of protesters have turned out in force to rally for FREEDOM in Melbourne today.— #KICKOUTRUTTE (@VrijeMeinung) November 13, 2021
🖊 SIGN AND SHARE THE PETITION TO KILL THE BILL 🖊https://t.co/lLkyIZ1VH0#AustraliaHasFallen #Australia pic.twitter.com/XjPeVixsM8
Craig Kelly, a United Australia Party MP for the Division of Hughes, NSW, stood up for freedom and joined fellow compatriots in the demonstration. He tweeted, "united we stand, against tyranny, dictators, against human rights abusers, and against those who oppress us," adding, "time to kill the bill."
Another politician, Liberal upper house leader David Davis, called the premier's pandemic bill a "grab for power."
"I would encourage Victorians to fight on every level against Daniel Andrews' terrible pandemic bill … but they should make their views known in a peaceful and calm and sensible way," Davis told reporters.
Saturday's protest is the latest in a series of Melbourne protests since lockdowns were enforced in early 2020.
The current emergency conditions are due to expire in December. If emergency conditions are extended once again, discontent towards the government will continue to boil.