Melbourne riot police used pepper spray, foam cartridges and rubber ball grenades to disperse a violent protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for construction workers.
More than 1,000 protesters in work boots and high-visibility jackets stormed the center of Australia’s second-largest city on Tuesday, lighting flares, throwing bottles, attacking police cars and shouting their opposition to vaccines and lockdown restrictions. by a mandate of the government of the state of Victoria. .
Victoria State Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said at least three police officers had been injured while more than 40 people had been arrested.
The march came a day after riot police were called in to disperse some 500 protesters who broke the door of the offices of the Union of Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy, which represents construction workers. .
On Monday evening, the state government announced that the construction industry would be shut down starting Tuesday for two weeks in the Melbourne metropolitan area and some regional areas.
Officials said all workplaces will need to demonstrate compliance with health instructions prior to reopening, including that staff received at least one dose of a vaccine before returning to work Oct.5.
The state of Victoria recorded 603 local COVID-19 infections and one death in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, virus cases in neighboring New South Wales state rose again to 1,022 and 10 COVID-related deaths.
The death toll from the state’s latest Delta outbreak that began in mid-June is 255.