Nationwide protests against COVID-19 pandemic bill begin

Protesters are beginning to fill parts of Australian cities as part of nationwide protests against COVID-19 vaccinations and pandemic legislation.

Crowds are building in Melbourne’s CBD as they protest the state’s pandemic bill.

It comes after hundreds of protesters rallied for three nights on the steps of state parliament, demanding Victoria’s proposed new pandemic legislation be torn up.
Thousands of protesters have packed Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD.
Thousands of protesters have packed Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD. (9News)
Thousands of protesters have packed Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD.
The crowds are protesting the state’s pandemic legislation. (9News)

A slow march is beginning down Bourke Street with thousands of people in attendance.

Protesters are carrying signs that say “freedom” and wearing t-shirts with “my body, my choice” written on them as they march down the street.

Crowds are filling the streets of Melbourne to protest the pandemic bill.
Crowds are filling the streets of Melbourne to protest the pandemic bill. (9News)
Protests are also underway in other parts of Australia, with crowds flocking to the Sydney CBD.

Thousands of protesters are in Hyde Park as part of the “freedom rallies”

People have arrived with both carrying and draped in Australia and Eureka flags.

The protesters can also be heard chanting “freedom” along with the sound of drums.

9News reporter Airlie Walsh said many of the people in Sydney’s CBD are protesting vaccine mandates and previous lockdown measures.

Crowds flock to cities nationwide to protest pandemic bills.
Crowds flock to Sydney CBD to protest pandemic bills. (9News)
Crowds flock to cities nationwide to protest pandemic bills.
People can be seen carrying Australia and Eureka flags while they protest. (9News)

The “freedom rallies” are expected to occur in major cities all around Australia, while counter-protests have also been planned.

Pro-vaccination protests have already begun in Brisbane CBD.

It is expected anti-vaccination protesters will also arrive in the city shortly.

Thousands of mostly maskless people carried flags as they marched through Melbourne.

Among the crowd, somebody carried a fake gallows with three nooses strung from it.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described the violent scenes at Melbourne protests as “ugly behaviour” by extremists.
Thousands of demonstrators took to Melbourne's streets on Saturday
Thousands of demonstrators took to Melbourne’s streets last Saturday. (Rachael Dexter)

The crowd protested the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (pandemic management) Bill 2021, which passed the lower house in October.

It comes as NSW recorded a drop in COVID-19 cases today, reporting 182 infections.

Victoria also saw a fall in cases, recording 1166 new COVID-19 cases.

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