Protesters take aim after petition opposing vaccination mandate rejected

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Justin Benson-Cooper / The Australian

Hundreds of protesters who rallied against compulsory Covid vaccinations banged on windows with their fists and bodies in Fremantle Council buildings on Wednesday evening.

Psalmody “no mandate”, the demonstrators then shouted “shame” after their demands to local governments to be “pro-choice” were refused at 9 p.m.

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“Council does not support the request of the petition received at the regular meeting of Council held on December 15, 2021, requesting an advocacy position against the State Government’s mandatory vaccination policy”, the officer wrote at the time.

“While the city recognizes and acknowledges the concerns raised by the signatories of this petition, it must also rely on information provided by the state government and the Chief Medical Officer.

“The city supports the economic viability of the broader hospitality industry and state governments’ requirement for vaccinations.”

Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said to the participants “Freo is a tolerant and inclusive community” and asked for a modicum of respect and kindness.

“I listened to people on both sides of this discussion with an open mind, read and researched, and spoke to professionals working in health care and emergency management,” said Mayor Fitzhardinge.

“Vaccination is the way to get through this pandemic with the least loss of life.

“We all want Freo to be a place where people feel safe, and as our borders open, we know our city will be ready to welcome back visitors who love our city almost as much as we do,” she said.

A petition, signed by 137 people including business owners, presented to council on December 15, called on the city to “form an advocacy position” and ask the state government to reconsider mandatory Covid vaccinations for residents. workers.

The rally in Walyalup Koort was a mostly peaceful event with face painting and live music, before outraged locals raged against the machine.

Police disperse the angry crowd, chasing them out of the gallery, before the meeting adjourned for 15 minutes.

Speakers were given three minutes to present their cases to councillors, amplified by loudspeakers located around Kings Square where protesters had gathered.

Some have called state mandates “violation of human rights,” and said it was “legalized the killing of people”, wwhile others claimed that “Omicron has made warrants obsolete.

Yet, in the end, the initial recommendation of city officials passed by nine votes in favor and three against.

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