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Experts Say The Far-Right And Anti-Vaxxers Are Infiltrating The Melbourne Tradie Protests

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Experts Say The Far-Right And Anti-Vaxxers Are Infiltrating The Melbourne Tradie Protests

It's feared anti-vaccination and far-right groups are hijacking the construction industry's protests in Melbourne.

For the past two days we've seen the crowd grow from a few angry tradespeople to thousands of individuals rallying through the streets and, in some cases, causing carnage.

According to SBS, it started with a couple of irritated tradies gathering peacefully outside the Victorian office of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.

They were angry that the whole industry would soon have to show proof of getting a Covid-19 vaccine as well as other measures imposed on them to keep transmission to a minimum.

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Credit: Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News
Credit: Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News

However, other people allegedly got wind of the demonstration and joined in. That's when things got violent.

Former Opposition leader Bill Shorten called the mass group of high-vis wearing individuals nothing more than 'hard-right man-baby Nazis, people who just want to cause trouble'.

A spokesperson for the CFMEU added that 'outside extremists' tried to join the group to spread 'misinformation and lies about the union's position'.

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"The CFMEU will always advocate for..freedom of choice," they said.

There was another protest yesterday (September 21) and word had certainly spread to other groups not connected in any way to the construction industry.

Thousands gathered to march towards the CFMEU office before heading to Parliament House.

On the way, they clashed with the media, lit flares and chanted 'f**k the jab' and 'you serve us' at police.

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Credit: Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News
Credit: Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News
Credit: Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News
Credit: Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News

The ACTU admits they have seen 'these extremist groups targeting unions on social media and spreading misinformation about the vaccines' for months.

Elise Thomas, analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told The Feed that there were a lot of 'opportunists' who latched onto the construction industry's movement.

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"In France and a bunch of other places, we've seen conspiracy groups latch on to the legitimate concerns of people who are dealing with significant workplace relations issues, trying to represent themselves as a true voice of the people," Ms Thomas said.

"It gets amplified and sort of twisted into their own forms of propaganda through their own networks."

Conspiracy theory expert Dr Kaz Ross added that the same thing happened at the truck driver's protests earlier this year.

"At these rallies yesterday and today, if you look at what they're saying it's not like a normal union protest," Dr Ross said to the SBS programme.

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"There is sort of standard union shirts or words or phrases that people use. What we're seeing yesterday and today are all the chants and slogans from the anti lockdown movements."

Premier Daniel Andrews has slammed the protestors and declared the only thing that will get the state out of lockdown is more people getting vaccinated.

Featured Image Credit: Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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