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Civil liberties were better respected in Victoria this past week with peaceful free speech and assembly able to return despite intimidation by Victoria Police in the name of public health and safety.

Bendigo Faithful Return

In the City of Bendigo at midday on Thursday the Bendigo Faithful as they are known resumed their weekly activism at what is called patriots corner in the city centre. They had been prevented from exercising their free speech during the lockdown with Victoria Police threatening them with $1652 penalty infringement notices.

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On Wednesday 13th May, Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown was modified to allow 10 people to gather outside in public places. After consultations with local police and an undertaking to adhere to social distancing, they were able to return to their weekly tradition which has existed for two and a half years.

Members of the Bendigo Faithful first came together as part of the United Patriots Front’s activism against a planned mosque in the regional Victorian city in 2015. The mosque only broke ground in 2019 and got a $400,000 tip of taxpayers’ money from Victorian Daniel Andrews.

The messages of the Bendigo Faithful are Aussie Pride, no sharia law, and free speech. An additional message was on display Thursday calling Dan Andrews the real virus for his agreement with Communist China to be part of their globalist Belt and Road infrastructure program.

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Thankfully they didn’t experience any intimidation or harassment from the city’s local Victoria Police officers. A single officer who was present asked for their details for coronavirus contact tracing purposes and took down their number plates, though this local police practice is not unusual in their history of activism.

Nationwide Anti-Lockdown Protests

The varying degrees of lockdowns in each Australian state and territory, along with the federal government’s push for the public to download the CovidSafe contact tracing app, and the coercive push from governments and businesses for citizens to be vaccinated has spurred a spontaneous anti-lockdown movement which has met on social media and also taken to the streets.

Victoria has had the most draconian lockdown laws enacted under the state of emergency powers. Melbourne’s anti-lockdown Mother’s Day protest outside the Victorian Parliament was aggressively suppressed by Victoria Police. They moved in to shut down the event when speaker Fanos Panayides was discussing microchips and the mark of the beast.

Another nationwide anti-lockdown protest was organised and took place this past Saturday. A promotional image was made by the Facebook page Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccinations which listed times and venues for the marches in each capital city. The page was deleted by Facebook before Saturday’s events.

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The mainstream media has repeatedly smeared and sneered at anti-lockdown activists, portraying them all as anti-vaxxers and anti-5G conspiracy theorists who believe the virus is a hoax.

While some attendees and organisers of these rallies do hold such views, as is their right – since freedom of thought is also a civil right – many attendees are simply demanding their personal and economic freedoms back and want to see the end of government overreach and the nanny state.

Victoria’s protest was held this time at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne’s Domain area near the Shrine of Remembrance. 300 people gathered unintimidated by the heavy police presence including police mounted on horseback.

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Victoria Police on horseback at the the Royal Botanical Gardens

Attendees were peaceful at all times and did not fall into the media and state government’s trap to be provoked when police yelled at them to maintain social distance and move on at the end of the speeches. Attendees were well educated about their rights under state and federal laws.

Many of the public faces of the anti-lockdown, pro-truth and pro-rights movement were present on Saturday such as Craig Cole from No Consent, 99% unite Facebook group admin Raphael Fernandez from Beliachi University and of course Fanos Panayides.

Fanos was not an orgainser of the event but his live vlogs into the 99% unite group asking questions about measures brought in during the pandemic and educating people about the rights has seen him emerge as the most recognisable face of the new freedom movement.

In his speech at the end of Saturday’s event, Fanos announced the launch of the 99% unite website which will provide resources for people to assert and campaign for their rights with authorities and government representatives. Fanos believes the new freedom movement needs to take this next step in its activism.

The mainstream media was present at the Royal Botanical Gardens and the failing Australian Associated Press produced a fake news story on Saturday evening accusing attendees of defying social-distancing measures designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

This is the same mainstream media who has not called out rioters and looters in the United States for breaching social distancing and stay-at-home orders, who have hijacked the protests against the death of black middle-aged man George Floyd in Minneapolis in an incident of police brutality. This is the same media who scolded peaceful anti-lockdown protests in locked down US states.

Four states in Australia today took another slow step towards reopening businesses and restoring the freedom of movement of its citizens. Victoria has finally allowed pubs and restaurants to reopen with a 20 patron limit. But with social distancing still being enforced, close human contact being deemed illegal, the peaceful anti-lockdown pro-freedom movement will continue.

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