Thousands have marched through the streets of Melbourne towards Parliament in a major protest event.
The crowd gathered on the steps of Parliament to protest the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 put forward by the Daniel Andrews government.
This is the largest crowd by far to assemble since the beginning of the pandemic, stretching beyond view in all directions.
According to independent journalist Rukshan – who was on the ground covering the event live – the protest was ten times larger than the protest last weekend. Protesters promised to assemble next weekend with double the number.
“Each one standing here is a hero,” said one protester, on the steps of Parliament. “We shouldn’t have to be standing here. Each one of you is standing here giving away the livelihoods that they [the government] are taking away from us.”
The crowd changed ‘Kill the Bill!’ in between announcements.
The protest is in opposition to a new pandemic Bill will has been described by lawyers as affording the Premier ‘indefinite dictatorial powers’ over the state of Victoria.
It is expected that the Bill will pass with the support of Labor and some independent parties, including the Animal Justice Party, Reason Party, and the Greens.
“Too long have we let our governments be authoritarian. And now we stand at Parliament facing a Bill which will give Dan Andrews – a single man – unbelievable power,” said a protester, to which the crowd booed.
The protest moved peacefully through the street with police monitoring, rather than interacting, with the demonstrators.
Unlike Black Lives Matter protests in the United States led by celebrities, the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest was led by ordinary people.
“There is an army of people here today to protect Australia,” said another protester, talking about the destruction of human rights in Victoria.
Australian flags were flown upside down to show ‘dire distress in an instance of extreme danger to life or property’.
“Obviously the numbers of people are growing, who are prepared to show some courage,” said ex-policeman Craig Backman. “The bullshit narrative is crumbling all over the world. They have been lying to us for two years. The virus is fear. The pandemic is greed. There’s always someone who wants to rule the world.”
In particular, the speakers rallied against Daniel Andrews discriminating against people based on their vaccination status, including the Premier’s threats to ‘lock them out of the economy’ well into 2022.
“The media needs to take a hard look at themselves, because they participated in betraying the people,” said Rukshan, talking about the portrayal of protesters in the mainstream media as ‘far right’.
There have been numerous attempts to discredit Freedom, anti-lockdown, and ‘Kill the Bill’ protesters in Victoria with Labor politicians going so far as to call them ‘man-baby Nazis’ when CFMEU workers protested outside the CFMEU headquarters.