I was shocked to see paramilitary police firing rubber bullets on the steps of Flinders Street Station. Words cannot describe what I felt at watching marching ranks of heavily-armoured police, rifles cracking fire, smoke from tear gas grenades swirling around them, swarming onto the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance. All while the socialist government imposes a “no-fly zone” over the city on the media.

If Flinders Street is the heart of Melbourne, the Shrine is its soul. Erected in 1934 as a memorial to Australia’s war dead, it is as sacred a site as any in our secular age.

That hasn’t stopped it being the regular site of protests since the 1960s – not that you’d know that from the pearl-clutching outrage of the mainstream media.

Riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at anti-vaccination and construction protesters after they overran Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in the worst civil rebellion at the national memorial since the Vietnam War.

The protesters, many swearing, littering and some drinking, were savaged by the RSL for using the shrine as a platform to oppose lockdowns, vaccinations and the two-week shutdown of Victoria’s $22bn construction industry.

This is disgraceful spin from the media, bordering on outright lying. None of the photos or videos from the protest shows any sign of litter (unlike, say, the piles of garbage dumped at the average environmental protest).

Just before 5pm, police stormed the steps and surrounds of the shrine, with several firing rubber bullets at scores of people and using tear gas to force them to flee in fear amid loud explosions.

It was the fourth time in five days that police were forced to ­battle inner city skirmishes linked to the national pandemic response.

However, the number of protesters was down on Tuesday and there were fewer clashes with police, with participants encouraging a more peaceful but still ­disruptive strike on the city.

It is the first time in recent memory that police have been forced to fire guns and use tear gas at the shrine, founded in 1934 to honour the World War 1 dead.

The Australian

It wasn’t “forced”. The crowd weren’t violent or even particularly rowdy. The police chose to open fire on clearly peaceful protesters. I’d suspect that it’s the first time in history, not “recent memory”, that this sort of state thuggery has been unleashed at the Shrine.

Not Latin America, Hong Kong or Eastern Europe: Melbourne, 2021. The BFD.

For all the fainting fits of the media and the RSL, this is not “dishonouring” the fallen. The fallen fell precisely for the cause of freedom – the cause of the protests. As for proclaiming that “protesting on the Shrine is a desecration of those who fought and died to protect the right of these idiots to protest”: not only is that a contradictory argument (if “these idiots” have a right to protest, then how is protesting a “desecration” of those who fought for that right?), but, as journalist Avi Yemini has pointed out, the fact that protest is now illegal in Victoria shows that “they died for nothing”.

It is the government that bans protest who desecrates the memory of those who fought for the right to protest.

Just to underscore the point of how contemptuously the Andrews government holds the freedom of its citizens, police declared a “no-fly zone” over the city. No aircraft are allowed within three nautical miles of Melbourne’s CBD without police permission. As part of the permit process, the media must agree to delay airing any footage filmed by one hour.

The state government which turned a blind eye to BLM protests during the first lockdown, and responded to Antifa riots by attempting to bill the very people Antifa attacked – is bringing down the full jackboot. Not just rubber bullets and teargas, but rolling out military-style vehicles designed only to be used, according to the police’s own operations manual, in “terrorist or siege situations”. As one Twitter user dryly observed: “Obviously a few hundred unarmed civilians falls a little short of this threshold”.

Shocking bystander footage from Flinders Street shows a man calmly talking to police when another officer sneaks up behind him and hurls him bodily to the ground. Later footage shows the man lying on the ground in a pool of blood.

The bloody aftermath of police brutality in Melbourne. The BFD.

But despite the brutal police response, the protests show little sign of going away. There are rumours of teachers and nurses joining the protests: the state government has announced mandatory vaccinations – the edict which sparked the tradies’ protests – for teachers and early-childhood educators. It would be a further embarrassment for the Andrews government if nurses turned on their union as the tradies have.

No matter how the media and the government try to spin it, it’s “Dictator Dan” and his goons who’ve stomped all over the rights that generations of Australians fought and died for.

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A Rubber Bullet to the Soul of Melbourne
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Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...