Anti-vaccination and lockdown protesters hold a rally at the gates at the Flemington racecourse in Melbourne on November 2, 2021, ahead of the running of the Melbourne Cup horse race. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 1:34 PM PT – Saturday, November 13, 2021
Thousands took to the streets of Melbourne, Australia to protest the city’s COVID restrictions.
Demonstrators marched through downtown Melbourne on Saturday, expressing their outrage over a proposed bill which would expand the state’s emergency powers. The proposed “Pandemic Management Bill 2021” would give Victoria leadership more powers, including the ability to declare a pandemic and impose further travel restrictions and mask mandates.
Opponents of the bill question the science behind the law, asserting the lockdowns have had major affects on young people.
“These past two years have been pure hell for our families. The isolation, segregation and breaking of the family unit needs to desist,” announced one activist to the crowd. “What are the true statistics on our children and young mental health? I would love it if they would report the increase of the suicide rates amongst our young people.”
The Victorian opposition noted the bill would hand the premier too much power, with the proposed legislation giving them power for an “indefinite period of time.” In the meantime, the existing state emergency powers given during the pandemic are set to expire on Dec. 15.