Direct Quote from Tim Quilty from Victorian Parliament
“My adjournment matter is for the minister for police over the previous few weeks. Vic Paul officers have used horses. This overrun demonstrators and OC foam to blind and subdue them. Officers armed themselves with rifles and donned body armour. They fired on protesters with less-lethal rounds and physically assaulted pro-freedom demonstrators. In each case, police came to arrest demonstrators and to subdue political opposition. Police surrounded the demonstrators and violently attacked people who tried to escape. This tactic is used because it makes it appear as though demonstrators are initiating violence, despite police being the cause of the violence at these protests.
The more distressing sites with the children choking and crying because officers had fired pepper spray at them. I know this is how the events unfolded because there are live recordings of these protests. They’re not mere snippets that have been selected for a specific narrative. There are extensive records of how events unfold. These attacks are deliberate and condoned by the government.
The premier has egged the police on calling on them to attack the crowds to use whatever method necessary. Members of your government have tried to smear protesters and blame them for lockdowns ordered by your government. Despite a clear message of demanding freedom from lockdowns, members of the government wanted to pretend the protesters were racists, as though the message was unclear.
A few weeks ago, the premier said at a press conference that he had no idea what protesters wanted or why they were protesting. From everything I’ve seen, the message is very clear. Thousands of people gathered in the CBD and shouted messages of freedom. They called for an end to lockdowns and an end to this government.
Australia is a free country, Victoria is a free state, and if this government wants to take that freedom away from people, it’ll have a serious fight on its hands. We have seen protests with the causes were supported by the government, where the police have facilitated a peaceful, safe protest.
The Liberal Democrats support peaceful protest, civil disobedience and resistance to tyranny. We oppose these lockdowns. Minister, the action I am calling for is an unequivocal commitment that police will no longer be used to attack crowds of Victorians exercising their rights.
Stop using potentially lethal weapons on protesters. Instead, the police should ensure the protests are safe and peaceful as possible. If the police continue to escalate the violence, there will be blood and that blood will be on your hands.”