Dan Andrews has failed to strongly condemn the disgraceful riots in Melbourne that have seen projectiles thrown at police cars, officers charged by rioters and traffic stopped throughout the city.
The Victorian premier released a meek statement on Tuesday night referring to the protesters’ behaviour as ‘terrible’ but only briefly referring to the violent demonstrations before again pushing his vaccine message.
‘There is no excuse for the terrible behaviour we have seen in our city over the last two days. Acts of violence and disruption won’t result in one less case of Covid – in fact it only helps the virus to spread,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘We know vaccinations are our only ticket out of this pandemic. There is no other way.’
Violent anti-vax protesters ambushed riot cops and smashed up police squad cars as construction worker demonstrations on the streets of Melbourne descended into chaos
Dan Andrews released a statement on Tuesday night referring to the protesters’ behaviour as ‘terrible’ but only briefly referring to the violent demonstrations
Protesters lit flares as they converged on the streets of the Melbourne CBD for the second ‘freedom’ rally in as many days
Riot police were then seen advancing in formation on the rioters before firing tear gas, stinger grenades and rubber bullets
Violent anti-vax protesters ambushed riot cops and smashed up police squad cars as construction worker demonstrations on the streets of Melbourne descended into chaos for the second day running on Tuesday.
Footage showed tradesmen in hi-vis clothing kicking police cars and attempting to tear off their side mirrors in the CBD as thousands of demonstrators gathered outside Victoria’s Parliament House on Tuesday.
Riot police were then seen advancing in formation on the rioters before firing tear gas, stinger grenades and rubber bullets.
There have been three reported injuries to officers so far with 44 arrests, but those figures are expected to rise dramatically after the ugly and violent scenes.
Mr Andrews thanked law enforcement in his tepid statement on Tuesday night, failing to condemn the disgraceful actions of the thugs fighting them.
‘Thank you to the brave men and women of Victoria Police for their work today – and every day – to keep our community safe,’ the premier said.
‘For those who think violence is the answer, I ask that you think of your fellow Victorians – doing the right thing over many months, following the advice of our health experts.
‘We have come too far to turn back now.’
He refused to reference the damage and injuries inflicted by the mob, which the CFMEU said was fuelled by ‘Neo Nazis’ in a statement on Monday, instead pushing his vaccination agenda.
‘The more of us who get vaccinated, the fewer of us who will end up in hospital,’ he said. ‘It’s as simple as that.’
A line of police officers in masks are pictured protecting the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne’s CBD on Tuesday
Mr Andrews thanked law enforcement in his tepid statement on Tuesday night, failing to condemn the disgraceful actions of the people fighting them
Construction workers march towards state parliament on Tuesday. Protesters have called for a royal commission into the government’s response to the pandemic
A protesters holds a sign on the West Gate Bridge that reads ‘tradies have spoken – we built this city – we will fight for Australia’
A Channel 7 TV reporter was earlier assaulted by a protester and had bags filled with urine thrown at him. The demonstrators then blocked the West Gate Bridge – a major freeway into the city – bringing traffic to a standstill at peak hour.
Building industry workers and anti-vaxxers took to the streets for the second consecutive day – many of them distraught after a tradesman took his own life at a construction site earlier in the day.
Demonstrators sung Advance Australia Fair and chanted ‘f*** the jab’ in protest against mandatory vaccination orders and Premier Daniel Andrews’ decision to shut the industry down for two weeks amid rising case numbers.
The protest began outside the boarded up head office of the construction union, the CFMEU, which was badly damaged by violent demonstrations just 24 hours earlier.
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union’s head office on Tuesday
The premier refused to reference the damage and injuries inflicted by the mob, which the CFMEU said was fuelled by ‘Neo Nazis’ on Monday, instead pushing his vaccination agenda
Police with riot shields monitored Tuesday’s rally, where demonstrators were told over loudspeaker ‘leave now or more force may be used’
CFMEU Victorian secretary John Sekta’s attempts to calm down construction workers fell on deaf ears on Monday before his HQ was destroyed by thugs
More than 100 police officers walked up Swanston Street in pursuit of the crowd, with officers warning demonstrators on a loudspeaker to turn back.
‘Attention, this is a police public order warning. You have previously been directed to leave,’ an officer inside a line of riot police and officers on horseback told the crowd.
‘Leave now or force may be used. No further warnings will be given.’
By 2.30pm the protest had reached the West Gate Bridge with demonstrators bringing traffic to a standstill before breaking out into a rendition of 90s hit The Horses by Daryl Braithwaite as they marched across the bridge.
One vocal protester was heard shouting ‘this is our bridge’ as demonstrators threw a ladder across the road to block traffic.
Traffic heading inbound towards Melbourne was backed up for 6km as hundreds of cars and trucks tried to leave the freeway at Williamstown Road where police had formed a blockade.
It comes as Victoria recorded 603 new cases on Tuesday, the highest daily tally in the current outbreak and since August 2020, bringing the number of active cases to 6,000.