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CFMEU Melbourne fight John Setka Daniel Andrews cops rubber bullets anti-lockdown riot

Furious tradies have been filmed throwing projectiles at a union building in Melbourne as a demonstration against mandatory vaccines turns violent, with cops forced to fire rubber bullets at the crowd. 

Hundreds of workers in hi-vis vests walked off the job on Monday and gathered outside the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union head office on Elizabeth Street to protest against mandatory Covid-19 vaccine requirements which come into effect later this week.  

Dramatic mobile phone footage showed protesters hurling projectiles at men guarding the door, labelling high-profile union boss John Setka ‘Dan Andrews’ b****’ and yelling ‘f*** the jab’.

Bottles and other projectiles have repeatedly been thrown with windows of the CFMEU building with others kicking glass with debris all over the road and footpath.

A dog was even kicked as the rallies turned exceedingly ugly, with pictures showing the devastation left by protesting tradies all along the outside of the union office.

There is now a large-scale police operation in motion to attempt to disperse the dissenters who have been in attendance for more than seven hours. 

It is the second ugly riot in two days for Melbourne as workers wage war on state officials, law enforcement and even their own union representatives.

Protesters rallying against Covid mandates on tradies have began smashing the windows and destroying the property of a union building in Melbourne as the demonstrations turned ugly

A man mimics getting the jab at police as protests turn violent between tradies on Monday in Melbourne's CBD over mandatory vaccinations for construction workers

A man mimics getting the jab at police as protests turn violent between tradies on Monday in Melbourne’s CBD over mandatory vaccinations for construction workers

Police fired rubber bullets at protesters in Melbourne's CBD on Monday as riots turned violent and ugly outside the CFMEU building

Police fired rubber bullets at protesters in Melbourne’s CBD on Monday as riots turned violent and ugly outside the CFMEU building

Bottles and other projectiles have repeatedly been thrown with windows of the CFMEU building with others kicking glass with debris all over the road and footpath

Pictures show the devastation left by protesting tradies all along the outside of the union office

Bottles and other projectiles have repeatedly been thrown with windows of the CFMEU building with others kicking glass with debris all over the road and footpath

Hundreds of workers in hi-vis vests walked off the job on Monday and gathered outside the CFMEU head office on Elizabeth St to protest against the mandates

Hundreds of workers in hi-vis vests walked off the job on Monday and gathered outside the CFMEU head office on Elizabeth St to protest against the mandates 

There is now a large-scale police operation in motion to attempt to disperse the dissenters who have been in attendance for more than seven hours

There is now a large-scale police operation in motion to attempt to disperse the dissenters who have been in attendance for more than seven hours

Riot police have moved in to disperse crowds at the Melbourne headquarters of the CFMEU, after a protest against mandatory vaccines turned ugly, with the union blaming ‘outside extremists’ for the violence.

Police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to move the crowd, which has now taken over the intersection outside the Queen Victoria Market.

Bottles were thrown at the already smashed glass entrance doors to the building in Melbourne’s city centre as those protecting the entry sought refuge indoors just before 4pm.

Protesters also seemed to be turning against each other, with a number of small fights breaking out within the crowd of bright orange and yellow.

The union released a statement just after 4pm, saying it has always supported freedom of choice regarding vaccination.

‘We are not going to be intimidated by outside extremists attempting to intimidate the union, by spreading misinformation and lies about the union’s position,’ the statement said.

‘The CFMEU will always advocate for safety, jobs, and freedom of choice.’

The angry faces of Melbourne: Tradies turn out en masse to rally against mandatory vaccination for all construction workers as Victoria looks to move out of lockdown

The angry faces of Melbourne: Tradies turn out en masse to rally against mandatory vaccination for all construction workers as Victoria looks to move out of lockdown

The chaotic scene were sparked by a message sent to the 'Vic Freedom Movement Event' group on a social messaging app urging workers to attend CFMEU headquarters

The chaotic scene were sparked by a message sent to the ‘Vic Freedom Movement Event’ group on a social messaging app urging workers to attend CFMEU headquarters

Bottles were thrown at the already smashed glass entrance doors to the building in Melbourne's city centre as those protecting the entry sought refuge indoors just before 4pm

Bottles were thrown at the already smashed glass entrance doors to the building in Melbourne’s city centre as those protecting the entry sought refuge indoors just before 4pm

Riot police moved in to disperse crowds at the CFMEU headquarters, after a protest against mandatory vaccines turned ugly, with the union blaming 'outside extremists' for the violence

Riot police moved in to disperse crowds at the CFMEU headquarters, after a protest against mandatory vaccines turned ugly, with the union blaming ‘outside extremists’ for the violence

Protesters squared off with riot police on the streets of Melbourne's CBD on Monday after rallies turned violent outside the CFMEU headquarters

Protesters squared off with riot police on the streets of Melbourne’s CBD on Monday after rallies turned violent outside the CFMEU headquarters

Police fired rubber bullets at protesters during the violent rallies over mandatory vaccinations for construction workers in Melbourne's CBD on Monday

Police fired rubber bullets at protesters during the violent rallies over mandatory vaccinations for construction workers in Melbourne’s CBD on Monday

Earlier the union boss was mobbed by angry tradies demanding they fight against mandatory vaccines and the removal of tearooms going forward as Victoria attempts to ease restrictions for the jabbed. 

Flanked by union officials, Mr Setka, the longtime CFMEU state secretary, tried to appease the crowd and address the protestors over loud speaker.

‘Please calm down, can you at least give me the respect to talk,’ he told protestors. ‘We’re not the enemy, I don’t know what you have heard. 

‘I have never ever said I support mandatory vaccination.’ 

But his pleas fell on deaf ears  and was drowned out by protestors booing and shouting expletive-filled insults.

‘Dan Andrew’s b****,’ several could be heard chanting. 

Others screamed: ‘Stand up, or stand down.’ 

Protesters also seemed to be turning against each other, with a number of small fights breaking out within the crowd of bright orange and yellow

Protesters also seemed to be turning against each other, with a number of small fights breaking out within the crowd of bright orange and yellow

Hundreds of workers in h-vis vests gathered outside the CFMEU head office on Elizabeth St on Monday morning

Hundreds of workers in h-vis vests gathered outside the CFMEU head office on Elizabeth St on Monday morning 

A protest against construction restrictions in Melbourne has turned violent with demonstrators clashing with union officials and hurling a bread crate

A protest against construction restrictions in Melbourne has turned violent with demonstrators clashing with union officials and hurling a bread crate

There are still dozens of tradies in attendance protesting mandatory vaccines after the government introduced the mandate for all construction workers from Friday

There are still dozens of tradies in attendance protesting mandatory vaccines after the government introduced the mandate for all construction workers from Friday

Riot police fire rubber bullets to disperse protesters who destroyed the CFMEU building in Melbourne on Monday after demonstrating against mandatory Covid jabs for tradies

Riot police fire rubber bullets to disperse protesters who destroyed the CFMEU building in Melbourne on Monday after demonstrating against mandatory Covid jabs for tradies

Mr Setka tried to tell the crowd he’d never even met the Victorian Premier but was eventually forced to retreat back inside the building before protestors smashed the glass door, chanting ‘my body, my choice’.

Unionists were forced to formed a human wall outside of the entrance to stop demonstrators from entering the building.

The chaotic scene were sparked by a message sent to the ‘Vic Freedom Movement Event’ group on a social messaging app urging workers to attend CFMEU headquarters to ‘support freedom of choice’.

‘Send a message that your unions will lose your support if they comply with these measures that defy personal choices for medical decisions,’ the message reads. 

Many protestors remained outside CFMEU on Monday afternoon as a heavy police presence watched on.  

One participant live-steaming the event described it as a peaceful protest.

‘We’re doing what has historically been done by workers,’ he said.

Construction workers clash with union representatives outside the CFMEU office in Melbourne on Monday

Construction workers clash with union representatives outside the CFMEU office in Melbourne on Monday

Dramatic mobile phone footage showed protesters hurling projectiles at men guarding the door and heckling a union rep as 'Dan Andrews' b****'

Dramatic mobile phone footage showed protesters hurling projectiles at men guarding the door and heckling a union rep as ‘Dan Andrews’ b****’ 

A bread crate was one of the projectiles hurled during wild scenes outside CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne

A bread crate was one of the projectiles hurled during wild scenes outside CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne

The CFMEU building in Melbourne has been destroyed with its brandage being smashed in and windows shattered after protesters hurled projectiles on Monday

The CFMEU building in Melbourne has been destroyed with its brandage being smashed in and windows shattered after protesters hurled projectiles on Monday

The protest comes as a raft of new restrictions are enforced on the construction industry as part of Victoria’s roadmap out of the Covid crisis. 

Construction workers will be required to show evidence that they’ve had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine from this Friday.

Tea rooms will be forced to shut and workers forced to eat lunch outdoors. Travel between Melbourne and the regions for work has also been banned.  

Shocking footage has also emerged of a dog being kicked during the violent scenes in Melbourne.

Hostilities continued to boil over a few hours later when a dog was caught up in an altercation between several men. 

A man was caught on camera kicking a dog during a protest outside CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne on Monday

A man was caught on camera kicking a dog during a protest outside CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne on Monday

CFMEU Victorian secretary John Sekta's attempts to calm down construction workers fell on deaf ears

CFMEU Victorian secretary John Sekta’s attempts to calm down construction workers fell on deaf ears

CFMEU state secretary John Sekta tried to appease the crowd before he was outspoken by the workers

CFMEU state secretary John Sekta tried to appease the crowd before he was outspoken by the workers

A man poses in front of riot police after protesters clashed with authorities outside the CFMEU building in Melbourne on Monday

A man poses in front of riot police after protesters clashed with authorities outside the CFMEU building in Melbourne on Monday

The disturbing footage shared by Channel Seven reporter Paul Dowsley shows a man kicking a dog being walked on a leash, sparking online outrage.

‘It (the altercation) broke up quickly as police stepped in,’ the reporter tweeted.

The footage left online viewers angry and horrified.

‘Kicking a dog is not an answer to a human dispute. Hope the perpetrator is identified,’ one woman commented.

Another added: ‘Anyone who attacks an animal for simply ‘being there’ deserves to have the same thing done to him. There’s absolutely no excuse for doing that…NONE!  

Victorian Daniel Andrews described protests as ‘not smart, they are not safe’ when he was asked about during his daily Covid update on Monday..

‘This industry is open at 25 per cent, we want to get to 50, being vaccinated is an incredibly important part of that,’ he told reporters.

‘Protests don’t work. Getting vaccinated works, following the rules works, that’s how you stay open, that’s how you get open.’

‘There’d been a whole bunch of people sitting at home scratching their heads about why anyone would be protesting about being open’. 

Around 13 per cent of Victoria’s active Covid cases are linked to construction sites as the state recorded 567 new cases on Monday.

It’s the second protest by Melbourne construction workers within three days to spark widespread chaos.

Up to 100 workers blocked traffic by sitting on plastic chairs in the middle of some of Melbourne CBD’s busiest streets last Friday to protest against the closure of their tearooms.

New construction restrictions 

Construction workers have staged a protest outside of the CFMEU office in Melbourne to demonstrate against new restrictions.

– Construction workers will be required to show evidence that they’ve had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

– Tea rooms will be forced to shut and workers forced to eat lunch outdoors.

– Travel between Melbourne and the regions for work has also been banned.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, premier Daniel Andrews said protests were not helpful in containing the spread of the latest Covid-outbreak.

‘This industry is open at 25 per cent, we want to get to 50, being vaccinated is an incredibly important part of that,’ he said.

‘Protests don’t work. Getting vaccinated works, following the rules works, that’s how you stay open, that’s how you get open.’

‘There’d be a whole bunch of people sitting at home scratching their heads about why anyone would be protesting about being open.’

Protestors began gathering outside the office in the early morning. By midday, the small group had ballooned to hundreds with demonstrators spilling onto the street and blocking traffic. 

A group of protestors later broke off from the main crowd to march towards parliament. 

CFMEU representatives clash with protestors at the entrance of the office on Monday

CFMEU representatives clash with protestors at the entrance of the office on Monday

Most of the demonstrators remained behind with one person yelling they will return to the office until their message is heard.

‘We will come back every day,’ he yelled to loud cheers. 

Several protestors could be heard demanding Mr Andrews resign as premier. 

Another person was seen wearing a hardhat with the phrase: ‘Covid-19 is all s***. Wake up’. 

The protest was staged just days after construction workers demonstrated against the impending new restrictions on Friday.

Dozens of workers set up plastic chairs and tables in the middle of Lonsdale Street in Melbourne’s CBD for their morning smoke break, forcing the cancellation of trams in the vicinity.

Similar protests also took place on Collins Street and Elizabeth Street in the city centre, as well as in Brunswick, Coburg, Kew, Parkville, South Yarra and Richmond, during the morning and at lunchtime. 

 More to come 

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