Hundreds of protesters gathered in Hyde Park and around the country on Saturday to voice COVID-19 conspiracies and demonstrate against the vaccination rollout as part of the Millions March Against Mandatory Covid Vaccination.
There were 11 rallies around Australia, in Sydney, a group called Australians vs The Agenda helped arrange the gathering and their stated “mission” is to help create “mass-scale awakening of Australian citizens — a fully empowered, conscious and cooperative collective of individuals.”
The rally in Sydney was attended by people with signs such as “coronavirus is a scam” and “vaccines kill”. The convergence of many online conspiracies was evident in the signs and views people held against vaccines, 5G, lockdowns, government and Bill Gates.
Former celebrity chef Pete Evans was the star attraction in Sydney, taking to the stage mid-afternoon, without shoes, to speak about his political aspirations with ex-One Nation senator Rod Culleton’s micro party.
Evans excited the crowd with a speech offering self-determination, “no one is coming to save you, except you”.
“I don’t have the answers,” Evans, who was booted from Instagram for spreading falsehoods about COVID-19 this week, told the crowd. “I will speak the truth. Well, it’s my truth. Everybody has their own truth,” he said.
Anti-vaccine campaigners Frankie Winterstein and Taylor Winterstein told mothers they’re “on the front line” against vaccines as people held signs saying “The so-called vaccine is a permanent DNA modification”.
The crowd was a mix of older people and young families with their children who held signs that either rejected science or promoted independent thought such as “Let me learn to think for myself”.
The crowd was peaceful although in Melbourne several arrests were made.
Nigel Gladstone is an investigative journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.