Construction workers in Melbourne, Australia, clashed with police on Tuesday in a dispute over forced vaccination for the second straight day.
Up to 2,000 protesters have landed in the city’s central business district, police said. A video posted on social media showed that workers threw bottles at police to fire flares, riot-equipped police fired rubber bullets, and used pepper spray. 1 TV journalist Said He threw urine on his face.
The protests began after the Victorian government, Melbourne’s largest city, mandated workers to be vaccinated as they struggled to contain the rapidly expanding outbreak of the Delta variant. The demonstrators promised to continue protesting, chanting “every day” while they marched.
The union on behalf of construction workers does not support compulsory vaccination, but keeps it away from protests, saying it was “severely infiltrated by neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremist groups.”
Construction is one of the few industries that has remained open throughout the pandemic in Victoria, but authorities are increasingly concerned that it could be a hotbed of coronavirus infection. ..
After last week the media reported that three of the four construction sites violated virus safety regulations, the state government mandated workers in the industry to vaccinate.
Australian authorities are reluctant to mandate vaccination across high-risk areas such as healthcare.
In response, construction workers sat down on Friday and escalated to protests this week. On Monday, a few workers gathered in front of the construction union’s office and threw projectiles at the building.
Hours later, Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said, “Concerns continue about case numbers, infection risk, and reduced compliance,” and ordered all construction work in the state to be suspended for two weeks. rice field.
Police arrested 44 people on Tuesday afternoon, saying the number was expected to increase, three police officers were injured, and police cars attacked and damaged them.