Anti-Vaxxers Staged A Bizarre ‘Save Australia’ Protest In New York City
“What is happening in Melbourne?” and “Australia is the example for the New World Order” read a couple of signs.
A “Save Australia” protest erupted in New York City on Monday (Eastern Time Zone) over vaccination mandates and lockdowns across the ocean. A crowd gathered outside the Australian consulate in Manhattan waving right-wing conspiracy posters alongside the Australian flag.
Save Australia? From what? The return of stonewash denim? https://t.co/Y20jQKVY8u
— Matthew Eager (@EagerMatthew) October 5, 2021
The protestors were trying to show solidarity to Australia’s own anti-vax movement, most recently manifested in Melbourne’s construction shutdown after hundreds violently protested compulsory vaccines in the industry. The New York protest also got a bit touch-and-go with police intervening after a COVID test site tent was knocked over by the group.
Some of the signs read “What is happening in Melbourne?” and “Australia is the example for the New World Order”.
(For what it’s worth, restrictions actually eased in Melbourne last week after we hit our 80% first dose vaccination target.)
— Seb Starcevic (@SebStarcevic) October 5, 2021
The crowd is thought to be predominantly made up of Department of Education staffers, after the agency introduced mandatory vaccinations which came into effect on that day. A marcher was heard saying that have “so much free time now” that they would go to schools “handing out flyers to parents”.
While Australia has been used as a case study since the start of the pandemic — at times as a shining star for initially preventing widespread outbreaks, and on the flip side, for an embarrassing national vaccine rollout — American conservatives have once again used us to pedal their anti-vax, anti-lockdown movement.
Republican Ron DeSantis publicly questioned whether Australia was a ‘free country’ last week over restrictions and mask use. “Is Australia freer than communist China right now? I don’t know. The fact that’s even a question tells you something’s gone dramatically off the rails,” the Florida Governor said. In August, the Texas Freedom Coalition posted a map of Australia with “What the world’s largest prison looks like from space” on top of it.
According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, 95 percent of Department of Education staff have been vaccinated. Over 60 percent of eligible populations in the whole city have been fully vaccinated, and 70.8 percent have received at least one dose.
Photo Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images