Another day, another protest. Or was it really? Protestors announced two locations. They formed small groups in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Many were on board. Until they weren’t. Myself, my cameraman (who is a great speaker) joined up with a few residents and made our way to our first location. Glen Waverley. Within 15 minutes, the media and police presence had highly outnumbered us. There were two arrests made. The police also harassed passing pedestrians.
Onto our second location. Eastland shopping centre Ringwood. It’s a large centre, with multiple carparks.
We managed to form a group, but those at the train station were stopped from leaving. Another huge police stance.
Again, we were met with two busloads of police and a police prisoner van. For a group of about 15 people. We split up and made our way through the shopping centre with no further interaction. It was when we went through the carparks that we met a visible presence. It was a game of cat and mouse.
We split individually, as we all agreed that we had to protect each other. One got detained and was let go after giving his identification to Police. Two received fines for breaching CHO directions. I was stopped three times and questions as I was not wearing a mask, but no fines were issued for me. I made my way back to my car.
We ended up all back together and all in one piece. My camera man had an interesting conversation with the junior officers that were swarming the place. In short, Victoria Police are not allowed to form an opinion on any of these directions. Since we did not say we were independent media, they were quite open to dialogue. They are silenced from above. Even with the constitution on both ours and their side, their hands are tied until command changes their tactics. We have given these officers a lot to think about tonight. A choice to make. To blindly follow the unelected bureaucrats or to follow their ethics and principles.
As we left, the riot squad turned up. What a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Thank you, John Wayne. An alias for my cameraman.
Winding up, we may have been disheartened by the masses not joining us, but we are stronger in spirit. We will keep fighting. The women we met to add to our growing group, who needed the basic human touch of a hug, which is sorely lacking due to fear mongering, we support you. We hear you; we stand with you.
We are pro-choice, free-living people. We just like to question everything. We are curious by nature.
There is still fire burning in our belly.
We will come back bigger and stronger.
Disclaimer: Our journalist Alana Watson, along with her cameraman Justin both decided against wearing their press passes yesterday as they made the decision to protest and then to write about it afterwards. We at AFIPN are at our very fabric created on the principles of freedom. We are committed to a free press and as such we are committed to all freedoms and liberties that are our inalienable rights. We have five people currently in Victoria that under the mandated vaccinations rules would be required to be vaccinated by October 15th to continue to report live from the ground. AFIPN will under no circumstances ask this of those that provide content to us, we fully respect the right to choose. AFIPN is currently looking into all legal avenues in relation to this decision and will continue to support our Victorian Correspondents. If our Victorian correspondents choose to take part in the protests then that is their choice and we support their right to choose.
This article is the opinion and commentary of our Victorian correspondent Alana who is affected by these mandates. AFIPN does not encourage anyone to protest, or break any of the current rules in place however we support the rights of the people to be heard and to give them a platform to discuss these issues along with anything else. Welcome to a true free press.