Writer: Lois

A protestor is arrested by police. Photo source: Twitter.

Today, on the sixth day of the city’s anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown rallies, at least a hundred Victorian police officers swarmed and arrested demonstrators at the “Millions March for Freedom” rally at Melbourne’s St Kilda beach.

Counter-terrorist units were also deployed against citizens earlier this week.

The crowds of demonstrators chanted slogans including “together, united, we’ll never be divided,” “we are not afraid”, and “f*** Dan Andrews”.

“Don’t lose hope, and don’t forget the victories of this week where thousands upon thousands of everyday Victorians spilled into the streets and highways to the endless sound of car horns and trucks cheering us on. . .Don’t ever forget that we made history that day,” read a Telegram message from protest organisers after the event.

“We want you to know we are so proud of everyone in our community, new and old, for their bravery to stand up for their rights in the face of such adversity. You don’t have to win every battle to win the war. Truth always wins in the end.”

Protest organisers issued a list of demands before their Tuesday demonstration:

  1. Emergency state powers to be removed immediately
  2. Lockdowns to end immediately
  3. Mask mandate to end immediately
  4. Vaccine mandates to end immediately
  5. Vaccine passport to be removed
  6. Immediate resignation of Premier Daniel Andrews
  7. Immediate resignation of Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton
  8. Immediate resignation of Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton
  9. Royal Commission into the government’s response to the pandemic
  10. Charges laid against officers for ‘assaulting peaceful protesters’
  11. All construction sites to resume immediately.

Meanwhile, Australian alternative news outlet Tott News pointed out Melbourne’s eery silence on Thursday, noting several red flags in the day’s happenings.

“Many media personalities are claiming that nothing occurred today – that protesters were simply scared off. Yet, on the other hand, reports circulated all day of disruptions, censorship and more,” wrote Tott News.

“Some protesters claimed it was in fact a rest day, after long and strenuous walking this week. . .Call me crazy, but something just doesn’t add up about today.”

The red flags raised were:

  1. A media blackout. Victorian police banned media organisations from taking footage of the protests.
  2. Streamers, including citizen journalist “Melbourne Detective”, and comments being deleted from platforms. Furthermore, 90 citizens were reportedly arrested, yet most of these arrests were not streamed.
  3. Signals were experiencing spontaneous issues (namely Telstra, Vodafone and Optus).
  4. Conflicting narratives of nobody being at the protests. Many are suspicious of police hacking accounts and posting false narratives claiming there were no protests today, including for the account Real Rukshan, one of the leading Melbourne protest streaming accounts.

“Many things don’t add up about today, and given the tense scenes we are witnessing in Australia, can you blame people for being suspicious?. . .What are your thoughts? Should the conspiracy theories be kept at bay? Or should they be addressed? What were your experiences today?” wrote Tott News.

“Stay vigilant, Australia.”

Sky News. (September 25, 2021). Police wrestle man to ground as protesters gather in St Kilda, Melbourne.

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