Politics

Police wrestle an anti-vax protester to the ground as crowds are PEPPER-SPRAYED in wild scenes


Wild scenes have erupted as police pepper-sprayed protesters rallying against Covid vaccination mandates and restrictions.

Dubbed the Convoy to Canberra rally, hundreds of demonstrators in cars, trucks, motorhomes and caravans descended on the Australian capital on Monday setting up camp at Patrick White lawns across from the National Library and nearby Parliament house.

Police swooped on the anti-vax mob on Tuesday and arrested three people as tensions over jab requirements in various job roles and ongoing pandemic restrictions continue to ramp up as the Omicron variant wreaks havoc across the country. 

A police officer is pictured using pepper spray on a man at the 'freedom' protest in Canberra at the Patrick White lawns

A police officer is pictured using pepper spray on a man at the ‘freedom’ protest in Canberra at the Patrick White lawns

Dubbed the Convoy to Canberra rally, hundreds of demonstrators in cars, trucks, motorhomes and caravans descended on the Australian capital on Monday setting up camp at Patrick White lawns across from the National Library and nearby Parliament house

Dubbed the Convoy to Canberra rally, hundreds of demonstrators in cars, trucks, motorhomes and caravans descended on the Australian capital on Monday setting up camp at Patrick White lawns across from the National Library and nearby Parliament house

Officers provided the self-described 'freedom protesters' with 'written information' at about 4pm instructing them to move on.

Officers provided the self-described ‘freedom protesters’ with ‘written information’ at about 4pm instructing them to move on.

Police arrest a protester at the campsite as tensions between officers and those at the rally reached boiling point

Police arrest a protester at the campsite as tensions between officers and those at the rally reached boiling point

Police form a line against 'freedom' protesters at their makeshift camp next to the National Library, in Canberra

Police form a line against ‘freedom’ protesters at their makeshift camp next to the National Library, in Canberra

Amidst the chaotic scenes, ACT Ambulance Service paramedics treated two people with minor injuries but no police say 'no people were transported to hospital'

Amidst the chaotic scenes, ACT Ambulance Service paramedics treated two people with minor injuries but no police say ‘no people were transported to hospital’

Officers provided the self-described ‘freedom protesters’ with ‘written information’ at about 4pm instructing them to move on. 

‘The information advised them they were camping and parking illegally and may be subject to fines if they remained in the area,’ ACT police said.

‘One woman assaulted police and she was subsequently arrested and charged with assaulting police.

‘Two men interfered in the arrest of the woman and they were also arrested and will be charged with obstructing police.’

Amidst the chaotic scenes, ACT Ambulance Service paramedics treated two people with minor injuries but no police say ‘no people were transported to hospital’.

The event was inspired by scenes from the other side of the world from the weekend, where 50,000 truckers travelled to the Canadian capital of Ottawa to demonstrate against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and lockdowns.

Police said, while Australian’s have the right to protest, in this case, demonstrators where gathering illegally. 

‘The rights of people to peacefully protest is always acknowledged by ACT Policing, however when illegal actions take place, the people responsible will be dealt with in accordance with the law,’ police said. 

A large number of police move in on the group dragging at least two people to the ground and arresting them

A large number of police move in on the group dragging at least two people to the ground and arresting them

A man with face tattoos is dragged away by police after officers informed the group to move on from the make-shift campsite

A man with face tattoos is dragged away by police after officers informed the group to move on from the make-shift campsite

A protester is taken to the ground by police and arrested on the Patrick White lawns across from the National Library

A protester is taken to the ground by police and arrested on the Patrick White lawns across from the National Library

Police subdue a man at the 'freedom' protest with three officers seen dragging him away from the makeshift campsite

Police subdue a man at the ‘freedom’ protest with three officers seen dragging him away from the makeshift campsite

Protesters were ruthlessly mocked when they arrived arrived at Parliament House on Monday, not realising many politicians wouldn’t be around to hear their message as it was a non-sitting week.

Sitting of Parliament doesn’t resume until next week. 

ACT Labor MLA Michael Michael Pettersson shared footage of the raucous crowd trying to storm the virtually empty building but are greeted by a heavy security presence.

Footage inside the deserted building shows barely a soul in sight, a far different story to the chaotic scenes outside.

The footage has already attracted more than 140,000 views within 24 hours.

‘You can tell they’re not from Canberra because every Canberran knows when it’s a sitting week,’ Mr Pettersson captioned the footage on TikTok.

‘They came all the way to parliament to protest but it looks like they didn’t do their research.’

Protesters were slammed in the hundreds of comments for not doing their research.

‘Imagine being the guards laughing , knowing nobody’s inside,’ one viewer commented. 

Pictured: A large number of police officers swarm of protesters with a man and a woman seen on the ground

Pictured: A large number of police officers swarm of protesters with a man and a woman seen on the ground 

Police subdue a woman at the anti-vax rally, grabbing her by the arms as they escort her away from the scene

Police subdue a woman at the anti-vax rally, grabbing her by the arms as they escort her away from the scene

A protester is knocked to the ground as police move in on protesters who illegally gathered next to the National Library

A protester is knocked to the ground as police move in on protesters who illegally gathered next to the National Library

Protesters are knocked to the ground as police swarm on protesters who illegally gathered next to the National Library

Protesters are knocked to the ground as police swarm on protesters who illegally gathered next to the National Library

Canberrans commented on how easy to tell when it’s parliament sitting week.

‘Hotels full, restaurants booked out, traffic is worse and filled with comm cars,’ Mr Pettersson commented.

Other viewers mocked the protesters.

‘When you turn up at the club too early,’ one viewer joked.

Another added: ‘This is the funniest thing that has happened in Canberra.’

But many also came to the defence of the protesters and commended them on continuing the fight against vaccine mandates.

‘It doesn’t matter if parliament wasn’t in. It was about making a statement,’ one woman argued.

Another added: Those who stand up and fight for their freedom will always have my respect.’

Mr Pettersson had a final message for the protesters.

‘I hope they enjoy their stay. Canberra is lovely this time of the year,’ he quipped.

Protesters were ruthlessly mocked when they arrived arrived at Parliament House on Monday (pictured), not realising many politicians wouldn't be around to hear their message as it was a non-sitting week

Protesters were ruthlessly mocked when they arrived arrived at Parliament House on Monday (pictured), not realising many politicians wouldn’t be around to hear their message as it was a non-sitting week

Protesters were slammed in the hundreds of comments for not doing their research when they arrived to jeer politicians who weren't there

Protesters were slammed in the hundreds of comments for not doing their research when they arrived to jeer politicians who weren’t there

Many protesters flew Australia's Red Ensign flag - a popular symbol of conspiracy theorists who believe maritime law supersedes the laws on land

Many protesters flew Australia’s Red Ensign flag – a popular symbol of conspiracy theorists who believe maritime law supersedes the laws on land



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