Police fire rubber bullets at workers protesting vaccine mandate
Citizens in Australia's largest cities have taken to the streets in protest of strict coronavirus lockdowns and mandatory vaccination for workers, with police Wednesday in Melbourne firing rubber bullets, stinger grenades and pepper balls on the third day of violent demonstrations.
Residents of Melbourne have been under a strict lockdown for 230 days that includes a 9 p.m. curfew. Police arrested 215 protesters throughout the day, and two officers suffered head injuries.
"I've grown up here my entire life in Australia, I can't believe that I’m seeing this in my state as well," said Australian journalist Rukshan Fernando in an interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham.
Ingraham said that for a moment, she thought she was seeing scenes from China. In only months, she said, Australia "has gone from one of the world's freest countries to what is essentially a bio-medical police state."
"China's looking very rapaciously at Australia but it looked more like something at Tiananmen Square than you'd expect from Australia," Ingraham said on her program Tuesday night.
Many Australians have posted videos on social media to document the strict enforcement of the country's COVID policies.
One shows a police officer at a transportation station in Melbourne running from behind a man and slamming him violently to the floor.
In New South Wales, a mother, with a small child, who apparently was staging a peaceful protest on a sidewalk, is seen being hauled way by police as her child cries.
Police in Melbourne on Wednesday are seen in the two videos below firing rubber bullets at protesters. The second shows police firing at the backs of people running away:
In this video, police on Monday warn protesters to disperse "or force will be used." The protesters, fronted by a "freedom" sign, chant in defiance "Every day, every day, every day!"