Victorian builder Brendan Allen (pictured) said anti-lockdown protesters did not represent him or most of the industry
A Victorian builder and father of four has sent out a powerful message on Twitter saying that anti-lockdown protesters roaming Melbourne do not represent him.
Brenden Allen, who is also the senior coach of the Blackburn Football Club, said the traditions involved in wild anti-lockdown clashes with police were a vocal minority.
‘I am a trader with 21 years of housing construction. I am fully vaccinated, comply with all restrictions and orders, my lunchroom is a shaded area and my Esky is a chair,” Mr Allen said Tuesday.
‘I work hard, I don’t get any rights or fines, I work for myself. The people marching don’t represent me.’
The demonstrations were sparked by the Victorian government’s decision to mandate vaccines for the construction industry after a large number of Covid cases were linked to construction sites.
However, it appeared that very few of the rioters were actually construction workers, as the case was hijacked by anti-vaxxers and far-right conspiracy theorists who mobilized on encrypted social chat rooms.
“We’ve been lucky and have worked most of the pandemic. But don’t put us on the same page as that shit,’ Mr. Allen said.
“I’ve only lost five days of work so far, possibly 19, others are much worse off. I just want to coach my soccer team, let my kids play sports, and my daughter graduate and spend a nightclub in town.”
The post sparked a deluge of comments, with most supporting the tradie to speak out.
‘Respect mate. I hope you earn some money soon,” one person wrote.
‘Well said. Two stone sons and hubby. No tea room in sight. Lunch outside in freezing or stifling heat and they never complain,” added another.
‘Good work mate. It’s a shame the minority has to ruin the image of a great hard-working industry,” added a third.
“I’m in the same position, completely vaxed, kept to the restrictions and did what was necessary. These people in the city don’t represent me,” wrote a fourth.
Mr Allen (pictured) is also the senior coach of Blackburn FC second tier AFL club and said most tradies just want to follow the rules and get back to work
Hundreds of violent anti-lockdown protesters have flooded Melbourne’s streets (pictured) after vaccines were made mandatory for the construction sector in Victoria, where there have been more than 350 Covid cases
On Wednesday morning, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews informed those rioting on the streets of Melboburne.
“May I begin by saying that the ugly scenes we saw yesterday are not only horrific, they are illegal. Victoria police will take action against those who did the wrong thing yesterday,” he said in his first public appearance since the protests.
‘I think there were people you would say from the construction industry.
“There were others who didn’t come from construction. They are not there to protest, they are there to fight, pretend to protest. They have many different backgrounds.’
Mr Allen wrote on Twitter that he was self-employed and just wanted to get back to work
Authorities said while construction workers were in the crowd, other groups, including anti-lockdown activists, were also encouraged to dress in high-visibility clothing.
“What offends me is not just the behavior, but in my work, over many years, I have met hundreds and thousands of builders, hundreds and thousands of craftsmen who have built this state,” said Mr Andrews.
“Whether it’s removing level crossings, building hospitals and schools, to building houses, they are nice people, hard-working people.
“What we saw yesterday is an insult, an insult, to the vast majority of crafts or people in the construction industry who are not demolishing, but building.”
There are more than 350 Covid cases linked to the construction sector, with concerns that the sector has been a driving factor in Victoria’s current outbreak.
Health officials previously expressed concerns about traditional travel between multiple jobs and their homes, not wearing masks, and gathering during breaks.
A rudderless crowd of up to 2,000 stormed across the CBD for more than seven hours, clashing with police (Photo: Protesters on Tuesday)
Prime Minister Dan Andrews warned protests on Wednesday would be met with a strong police presence (Photo: Protesters on Tuesday)
Andrews was flanked by Police Secretary Lisa Neville and Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, who said police would take a tough stance on Wednesday against further chaotic protests.
“Victoria police have made plans, we have important tactics, we will be agile in our response, we will react very quickly and behavior like we saw yesterday and the previous day will not be tolerated,” Commissioner Patton said.
Andrews defended his two-week industry shutdown of more than 300,000 workers statewide, across the hundreds of cases.
He added that the vast majority in the industry came to vaccination centers to get their Covid injections.
Andrews described the 1,000 to 2,000 people on the streets of Melbourne as not reflective of the construction industry or the wider population, with 90,000 people across Victoria being vaccinated on Tuesday.
Construction workers in Victoria are outraged by Covid compliance measures imposed in their sector (photo, crowds storming West Gate Bridge on Tuesday)
MELBOURNE ANTI-VAXXER PROTEST LIST WITH REQUIREMENTS
1. Emergency powers must be lifted immediately
2. Lockdowns End Immediately
3. Mask Mandate to End Immediately
4. Vaccination mandates will be terminated immediately
5. Vaccine passport must be removed
6. Immediate resignation of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews
7. Immediate Resignation of Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton
8. Immediate Resignation of Police Chief Shane Patton
9. Royal Commission in Government Response to Pandemic
10. Charges against officers for ‘assault of peaceful protesters’
11. Immediately resume all construction sites.
12. Mass Distribution of Invermectin, Vitamin C, D and Zinc