A surreal scene unfolded a few days ago in Australia as police began to enforce a government edict that all construction workers in the state of Victoria have to get at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work.
Australia has a strict “zero COVID strategy” and has been in some form of a lockdown for 233 days. The completely arbitrary order for construction workers may have been the last straw, both for protesters and police.
Allahpundit at Hot Air documented the ensuing violence and chaos.
As part of the vaccination effort, authorities in Melbourne recently announced that all construction workers across the city’s home state of Victoria would need to get their first dose by this past Thursday. Why construction workers? It’s because state officials have data showing that an unusually large share of COVID cases (13 percent) have been linked to construction sites. They’re so intent on stopping the spread at those sites, in fact, that recently they started shutting down workers’ break rooms. Angry workers responded by setting up tables and chairs in the intersections of city streets, taking their breaks there and obstructing traffic in the process.
In NPR’s telling, things came to a head on Monday when protesters descended on the local construction trade union office. Some were actual construction workers who object to the vaccine mandate but others were random anti-vaxxers and Neo-Nazis, according to the government, who were there to show solidarity or make trouble or both. (The fluorescent vests worn by some protesters in the clips below are commonly worn by construction workers.) At some point the protest turned into a riot, with demonstrators attempting to storm the trade union and throwing rocks and bottles at police while the police fired rubber bullets.
— Níal Ó Fionnagáin (@NialFinegan) September 21, 2021
AUSTRALIA – Police start shooting at unarmed civilians at the Shrine of Remembrance.
— Bernie's Tweets (@BernieSpofforth) September 22, 2021
“This is for your health and safety” pic.twitter.com/Q5CCdRd2wP
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) September 24, 2021
How much of a role “lockdown fatigue” played in the violence by both protesters and police is unknown, but it’s something that the government needs to consider. At some point, people are driven nearly mad by the enforced restrictions. Authorities should know that the agitation only gets worse the more enforcement measures are used to quell dissent.
The most disturbing video circulating today has no violence in it. It’s this scene of police officers in another part of the country interrogating a man in the interest of “public safety” about whether he knows of any protests coming up. I can’t tell if that’s because they’re worried about a riot in their jurisdiction too or if they’re really willing to go this far to prevent people from congregating in public for fear that they’ll spread the virus. Australia has lost very few people to COVID thanks to their lockdown strategy, but they’ve lost other important things in the process.
How is this real? pic.twitter.com/5G9ElM1uPU
— Echo Chamber (@echo_chamberz) September 23, 2021
Authorities and their brainless supporters — mostly on the left — have yet to sit down like grown-ups and have a discussion about the lives that have been saved by these policies while not getting their panties in a twist and objecting hysterically when someone wants to talk about what we’ve lost because of measures taken to protect us from ourselves.
Many in the government are reluctant to discuss this for fear they might have to give something back to us. Others simply don’t want to face the reality of what they’ve done. But the day of reckoning is coming. Hopefully, it will be at the ballot box. But one way or another, those who have foisted these policies on us are going to answer for what they’ve taken from us.