‘People Are Fed Up’: Sydney’s ‘Freedom Rally’ Protesters Frustrated at State Govt’s Pandemic Handling

By Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen is a Vietnamese reporter based in Sydney and focuses on Australian news. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.
November 22, 2021 Updated: November 23, 2021

When tens of thousands of Australians turned up at Sydney’s latest “Freedom Rally” last Saturday, it showed that people were “fed up” with the state government’s COVID-19 restrictions, vaccine mandates, and its push to vaccinate children a speaker of the protest said.

“This day isn’t just about us,” Maria Zeee founder of independent media channel Zeee Media, told The Epoch Times. “It’s about the whole world, every single country.”

“I refuse to comply with medical apartheid. I refuse to comply with a medical experiment with safety data that is not being made available for the next 55 years. I refuse to allow medical experiments to be pushed onto our children, especially by these brands that are showing to cause very high rates of myocarditis and pericarditis in younger people,” Zeee said.

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Maria Zeee at the Sydney protest against the COVID-19 mandates in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021. (Nina Nguyen/ Epoch Times)

She noted she had been harassed and received death threats due to her stand against vaccinations and alleged that the mainstream media was “trying to create a segregation in society” by labelling people who raised reasonable concerns about the vaccine’s side effects and those against forced vaccination as “Anti-Vaxxers.”

“It’s an intentional misrepresentation of people for the purpose of creating division in society,” she said. “There are many vaccinated people here today that don’t want forced vaccination.”

Sydney’s demonstration against the COVID-19 health mandates, which is part of a nationwide movement, saw people coming from all walks of life to peacefully march through Sydney CBD, singing the national anthem and chanting “freedom.”

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People holding signs saying “Coercion Is Not Consent,” “No Jab,” “Mandatory Vaccinations are a Violation against Human Rights” in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021. (Nina Nguyen/ Epoch Times)
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Protestor holding an umbrella saying “Freedom Over Fear” in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021. (Nina Nguyen/ Epoch Times)
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Some protest attendees held national flags as others sang the national anthem on Nov. 20, 2021 (Nina Nguyen/ Epoch Times)
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Protesters gathered at Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021 (Nina Nguyen/ Epoch Times)

One of the protest organisers Simeon Boikov, also known as the Aussie Cossack,  said he knew when New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard signed the exemption for unvaccinated people to participate in the Sydney COVID-19 rally, it was a sign that the government was losing.

“Yesterday I couldn’t buy a cup of coffee. I haven’t been to the pub in two years. But today, I shook hands with 98,000 people,” said Boikov, who also works in the construction industry.

“Freedom isn’t free,” he added, “If we don’t protest, the government will notice that people aren’t against them. And they’ll keep going.”

Leon, a protest attendee, who refused to give his surname due to privacy concerns, said he had travelled about 300 kilometres from Taree, a town on the Mid North Coast NSW, to join the rally.

“We’re sick of the lies, we’re sick of the standover tactics from the government, we’re sick of the intimidation… and hands-off with our kids,” he told The Epoch Times.

Asked what motivated him to take the three-and-a-half-hour drive to Sydney, he said he believed the mandates were implementing a form of totalitarianism.

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Leon, holding the Eureka flag, came from Taree to the “Freedom Rally” protest in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021. (Nina Nguyen/ Epoch Times)

Another protester, Peter Ousby, said he saw the strings of events currently unfolding as a result of a spiritual issue for the whole society, which was “working out politically, financially, family-wise.”

“I know people who have lost others, who have suicided because of the house arrests and the prohibition on providing for your families and yourself and conducting your livelihood,” Ousby noted. “The cure is a lot worse than the complaint.”

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Peter Ousby at the Sydney protest in Australia on Nov. 20, 2021 (Nina Nguyen/ Epoch Times)

Meanwhile, Kate, who gave a pseudonym due to privacy concerns, revealed she was a teacher for 19 years but was dismissed two nights prior to the protest after refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m gonna make my own decisions based on what I think is the best thing to do,” she said. “The data from this trial vaccine is not being put out there for people to know, and that’s a question you would have for that.”

NSW Police Central Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said he was pleased with the peaceful nature of the protests.

Attendees conducted themselves peacefully, and there were no arrests made and no infringements issued during the protests.

Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen is a Vietnamese reporter based in Sydney and focuses on Australian news. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.