An elderly veteran who was unable to attend an ANZAC Day service because of vaccination mandates has called on the government to put an end to the ‘oppression’ of people who refuse Covid-19 vaccination.
Wearing an army hat and a jacket adorned with service medals, John Murphy, 72, delivered a rousing speech to a cheering crowd of over one hundred thousand people at the Flagstaff Gardens rally point in Melbourne.
‘I hope that I’m representing all of our past diggers,’ he told the cheering crowd.
‘Australia has been willing to send troops to all parts of the world to help people become free where they might have been under oppression over the past 100 years or more, and to now be fighting oppression here in our own country is saddening.
Mr Murphy first came to the public’s attention in April of this year when he publicly voiced opposition to Covid restrictions that saw unvaccinated people locked out of ANZAC Day celebrations at the Shrine of Remembrance.
Due to these restrictions, Mr Murphy was forced to observe ANZAC Day celebrations from behind a barbed-wire fence.
After several weeks of protests in Melbourne condemning vaccination mandates and the newly proposed pandemic Bill, experts believe that Saturday’s rally may have been the largest protest of any kind in Australian history.
Protests similarly opposed to vaccine mandates occurred all across the country over the weekend, but were largely ignored by mainstream media outlets – despite their unprecedented size.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews continues to label downplay the concerns of protestors as the work of far-right extremists and accused Prime Minister Scott Morrisson of ‘pandering to extremists’ by not condemning ongoing protests last week.
‘I completely and totally and continue to denunciate any violence, any threat, any intimidation,’ the Prime Minister said last Friday.
‘Governments have to start letting go of all of the controls on people’s lives.’