Melbourne construction workers protested today outside the CFMEU trade union movement’s headquarters chanting “F*** the jab” and “You serve us” at the Victorian Premier and union leaders.
Large numbers of trade union members gathered to demand that union leaders lead a march on Victoria’s Parliament House in protest against Labor Premier Daniel Andrews’ vaccine mandates, and vaccine passports.
While their leaders looked on, the well-known militant Australian union aired grievances at the loss of medical liberty, of which legacy media outlets only three days ago were trying to pass off as a petty tantrum over tea room closures at construction sites.
Leaders initially refused to address the growing crowd.
When CFMEU boss, John Setka finally appeared, members chanted “Andrews’ b****”, expressing frustration at Setka’s apparent “sell-out” alignment supporting the Victorian Labor government’s new “no jab, no job” policy.
Independent, Australian current affairs YouTuber, Real Rukshan spearheaded much of the mainstream coverage on Facebook Live, garnering a steady number of 10,800 viewers, which later grew to over 17.5k.
Rukshan offered commentary and updates as the protest unfolded.
Citing the absence of police agitators, the dramatic difference in how one group of citizens is treated differently from another, he told viewers the protest is the safest he’s felt since he began reporting on the pro-freedom rallies.
As Herald Sun journalist, Rita Panahi noted on Twitter: “Of course Victoria Police take a very different approach to this protest.”
Although, under the current public health order edict today’s protest was an “illegal gathering”. Victoria police were visible, but subdued.
Observing the difference between how Victoria police were handling both protests, Rukshan argued that police holding back and facilitating the democratic voice, not forcefully censoring it, was the way of democracy.
The police presence was a striking contrast to Saturday’s freedom rally, where 2,000 hyped-up, militarised police employed non-lethal weapons in an attempt to disperse what they called an “illegal protest,” at the behest of the government.
Hence, violence on the day seemed to come solely from Victorian police, not the majority of citizens involved.
The Daily Mail repeatedly mislabelled the freedom rally, a “riot,”
Most legacy media reporting focused on police statements claiming 235 people were arrested, for breaching health directions, “riotous” behaviour, and assault.
Depending on your news source, this left 6-10 police officers in hospital with injuries. (The Age and 9News said 10 officers were injured.)
It’s probable the Victorian police have selectively used examples to overstate levels of violence from freedom rally protesters for political reasons.
This is inadvertently backed by reports from the ABC, where “Victoria Police said all injured members had been discharged from hospital on Sunday morning.”
The ABC also added that police “had taken the extraordinary move to temporarily shut down public transport into the CBD in a bid to prevent” the free movement of protestors, stating that ‘lines of officers attempted to control the protesters and used capsicum spray several times.’
The hyped-hype authoritarian counter-response raises questions about police provocation.
It also points to Real Rukshan’s claims that police have seemingly inserted themselves into the freedom rally protests in order to create unrest and disturbances.
Additionally, the lack of balance from most major legacy media outlets appears to be due to an organised narrative, designed to paint the Victorian police as victims, and the protesters as villains.
There was little, to no mention in legacy media of injuries sustained by protestors at the hands of Victorian Police officers, who were dispatched on Saturday to squash dissent.
Such as, “officers pepper-spraying several members of the press who posed no risk to police.” (Rebel News and The Australian)
In another incident, Victorian police threw a woman, alleged to be in her 70s, to the ground, dousing her in capsicum spray.
The Australian flag being thrown to the ground along with the woman is a small, but powerful metaphor that illustrates the contempt Australia’s overbearing, bloated bureaucracy has for the people they’re paid to serve.
Victoria is in its sixth hard lockdown. While tax-payers suffer, bureaucrats don’t.
I am not a CFMEU fan, but I stand with them in opposing medical conscription and domestic vaccine passports.
Today’s trade union protest against a power-drunk bureaucratic caste’s unreasonable, and unjustifiable decrees, which are killing livelihoods, and liberties, is a protest on behalf of all Australians.