Hundreds of protestors have gathered in front of Australia’s Parliament House in solidarity with the massive Convoy to Ottawa that converged on the Canadian capital around the weekend of Jan. 29.
Calls for a similar movement have been echoing Down Under for days, and on Jan. 31, a crowd organised under a “Convoy to Canberra” campaign gathered in front of the national legislature, according to videos circulating on social media.
The crowd can be heard chanting, “What do you want? Freedom! When do we want it? Now!”
One individual addressed the crowd saying they had “every right to be here peacefully.”
“They have told us that they have passed the message on that we demand that a representative of this Parliament comes out and addresses the people of Australia and our demands,” he said in a video circulating online.
Social media has been awash with footage of drivers making their way to the Australian capital. The grassroots movement has begun gathering steam as a four-day-old GoFundMe campaign already garnered AU$167,539 in donations, as of Jan. 31.
According to the ABC, the funds have been frozen by the website until details are provided regarding how the organiser will disperse them.
A similar issue occurred with the Canadian protest when GoFundMe froze access to CA$4.5 million in funds. Those funds have since been released.
U.S. truckers are now planning their own version of the protest from California to Washington D.C.
The movement, which has seen thousands to tens of thousands of truckers mobilise, is in response to ongoing vaccine mandates and harsh government-mandated restrictions.
In Australia, mandates have been widely enforced across the country with largely bipartisan support politically and from the business and medical community; it has, however, remained a contentious issue.
On Jan. 22, protests broke out across Australia’s major capital cities against government-mandated restrictions and mandates.
Vaccine developer Nikolai Petrovsky has criticised the mixed messaging on the benefits of the jab, saying it only protects individuals and does not stop transmission of the virus—undermining the reasoning for mandates.
“Every individual should be making decisions about their own health, and it is completely inappropriate to demonise or suggest someone who’s unvaccinated is in any way different to anyone else,” the lead researcher behind Spikogen told The Epoch Times.