All The Semi-Famous People Who Were At This Weekend’s Anti-Lockdown Protest
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Over the weekend, thousands of people selfishly attended an anti-lockdown protest in Sydney.
Despite COVID-19 numbers rapidly rising in recent weeks as the Delta variant spreads through the community, Sydneysiders fed up with being locked inside held a “Freedom Rally” protest in the CBD. Approximately 3,500 protesters, who were mostly maskless, marched from Victoria Park to Town Hall equipped with signs calling for “freedom”.
Beyond being an unbelievably selfish act to do while the majority of Sydney has tried to stay home to curb case numbers, the anti-lockdown protest attendees broke the current stay-at-home orders that restrict non-essential travel.
As a result, over 63 protesters have been charged, over 100 fines given out and over 200 infringement notices have been issued after more than 10,000 reports were made to CrimeStoppers by frustrated members of the community.
This wasn’t just an anonymous crowd of rabble-rousers either — there were quite a few high-profile figures at the protest, from TikTok personalities to Insta influencers to well-known broadcasters and political candidates. And boy, did they all love posting about it.
So, without further comment, let’s take a look at all the semi-famous figures who attended this weekend’s anti-lockdown freedom rally, and who were desperately posting about it at every moment.
The TikTok Numbers Guy
— Adella Beaini (@adellabeaini) July 24, 2021
Jon-Bernard Kairouz, the “comedian” who shot to “fame” for correctly “guessing” Sydney’s upcoming COVID numbers not only attended Saturday’s protest (maskless) but even delivered a speech to those gathered at the event.
While Kairouz likely just had an inside source at NSW Health leaking him numbers for content, the comedian’s addiction to media attention ended up being his demise. After getting too big for his boots, Kairouz quickly uploaded and deleted footage of himself at the protest — but it was too little too late.
The self-titled “People’s Premier” was immediately identified and was issued a court attendance and a penalty infringement notice on Sunday. Kairouz is set to appear at Bankstown Local Court in September.
It turns out Murdoch's Sky News personality John Ruddick was among those who poured into Sydney's streets & put lives at risk. These marches were fuelled by a one-year propaganda campaign equating lockdown with dictatorship. And Murdoch pretends to have nothing to do with it. pic.twitter.com/hMjnax4sR1
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) July 25, 2021
John Ruddick, the Liberal Democrats party candidate for the federal seat of Warringah and a regular Sky News contributor, proudly attended the Freedom Rally on Saturday.
While at the protest, Ruddick shared videos from the event and bragged about how the gathering had a “great atmosphere” and was “awesome”. On Sunday, Ruddick let his followers know that he had been fined for attending the protest but said it was “no problem”.
“Just had two courteous police officers at my door to advise I will be getting a $1,000 fine for attending the Sydney Freedom Rally,” Ruddick tweeted. “No problem — I’ll frame it and put it on the wall.”
The Protest Fire Twirler
— charbel (@chaaarbs) July 24, 2021
If the general idea of people trying to get lockdowns to end by attending a mass gathering wasn’t already ridiculous enough, let me add this random fire twirler to the mix.
James Ward-Collins, a fire-breathing yoga teacher and “energy healer” who goes by the name Petrol Panther, has no regrets about his spot of mid-protest entertainment.
After the Petrol Panther was extinguished, the energy healer was taken away in cuffs and charged with flouting COVID-19 movement restrictions, according to The Daily Mail.
Speaking to Daily Mail, Ward-Collins noted that he didn’t regret his fire twirling because he “believes there is an agenda to destroy our Australian culture, our rights, our freedoms, our small businesses and our ‘normal’ way of living’.
Ah yes, the famous ~COVID agenda~ that was created just to destroy fire-twirling culture.
Daini ‘Big D’ Tuiqere from Survivor
OH A CHALLENGER APPEARS in “Big D” Daini pic.twitter.com/LD6DbI7AL6
— Matt Tarrant (@MattTarrant) July 25, 2021
The term semi-famous is being used very loosely here, but Daini from the current Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawn season proudly attended Saturday’s Freedom Rally.
Explaining his attendance, Big D told me that his inability to see his family is the “reason for my stand” and added that he went because “we were already going to be in lockdown till [sic] we hit 70 percent and that’s not ok”.
What is that 70 percent Big D is referring to? That I don’t know. But Big D claims that despite attending the protest, he is actually not anti-vax or anti-lockdown, however that works.
Ex-NRL Players Roy Asotasi and Ben Roberts
Former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs players Roy Asotasi and Ben Roberts both attended the Freedom Rally in Sydney.
While neither attendee is in the league anymore, Asotasi now owns the F45 in Parramatta and Roberts is a trainer who focuses on “educating, encouraging and coaching athletes to reach their full potential in the sporting arena”.
And An Alarming Number Of Micro-Influencers
In a surprise to no one, a number of micro-influencers across Sydney proudly shared that they were at the Freedom Rally.
Content creators like Grace Olivia Roberts (23,000 followers) and Selina Ava Kannis (15,500 followers) were called out by their followers for their participation in the anti-lockdown protests as Sydney cases continued to rise.
In response to criticism that called her actions selfish and likely to extend lockdown, Kannis responded: “Wake the fuck up, people like you are the ones that will get wiped out. Good luck to yourself.”
Beyond Sydney, pro-protest influencers were also present at the Brisbane and Melbourne Freedom marches, too. Ayla Cally with a following of 51,000, and Tiarne Simone (18,600 followers) attended in Melbourne, while Vanessa Hammond (58,000 followers) was present for the Brisbane rally.