Thousands of Australians Protest ‘Grab for Power’ Pandemic Bill in Victoria

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
November 13, 2021 Updated: November 14, 2021

Thousands of Australians marched peacefully through Melbourne for a second Saturday in a row on Nov. 13 to protest against the Victorian state government’s pandemic legislation and vaccine mandates.

The proposal would hand Premier Daniel Andrews unprecedented power to declare pandemics in the state and grant himself emergency powers for up to three months, with no cap on how often they can be extended.

The state parliament’s Liberal upper house leader, David Davis, called the legislation a “grab for power.”

“I would encourage Victorians to fight on every level against Daniel Andrews’s terrible pandemic bill … but they should make their views known in a peaceful and calm and sensible way,” he told reporters.

There were no reports of unrest on Nov. 13.

Protesters marched to Parliament House from the state library, as they rallied to make their views heard, listen to speeches by politicians, and enjoy entertainment.

United Australia Party leader Craig Kelly, who resigned from the Liberal Party to follow his conscience about elements of Australia’s pandemic response, addressed the protest, saying mandatory vaccinations are an “abuse of human rights.”

“We are being governed by medical bureaucrats that are part of a mad, insane cult of vaccinists,” he told the rallygoers.

Rebel News reported that protesters chanted “Kill the bill,” and “Sack Dan Andrews,” while carrying signs with messages about ending vaccine mandates and calling for freedom to choose whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Paty) virus.

Civic pushback against vaccine mandates led to days of protests and unrest in September, drawing international attention, when the state imposed mandatory vaccination requirements on the construction sector.

The current emergency conditions are due to expire in December. Typically, they run for three months and have been extended every three months since the first was declared in March 2020.

While traditionally this power has sat with the chief health officer, the new measure would hand it over to the premier.

The protest comes after most Australian states have begun lifting COVID-19 restrictions upon passing the vaccination threshold of 80 percent.

The Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management Bill 2021) has been approved by the Victorian Parliament’s lower house and is due to be debated in the upper house this week.

Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au