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October 1, 2023

Tweed Heads freedom protest draws big crowd

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A screenshot from activist Tom Barnett’s live stream from his social media account

A peaceful protest against forced vaccinations and passports was held Friday at noon at the NSW/Qld border, in front of Twin Towns. 

It attracted up to 1,000 people, and included speakers, as well as a strong Indigenous presence.

Activist Tom Barnett streamed it live from his social media account.

QANTAS pilot Graham Hood spoke to the large crowd before the march. His recent viral video condemning government policy around vaccination is available on Youtube (for now) – ‘Qantas Pilot Speaks Out About Vaccine Mandate’.

As a pilot for 53 years, and 32 years with QANTAS, Mr Hood told the gathering: ‘The spirit of Australia has been decimated by politics, bureaucrats and big business’.

He called for Indigenous sovereignty and said Australians have forgotten the sacrifices that previous generations made, particularly in wars.

Mr Hood was critical of MP Jackie Lambie’s pro vaccination stance, and said the ‘PM is missing in action’. 

‘What will he will do with the ten to 20 percent of us who will not agree to being vaccinated?’

‘Will we be under house arrest?

‘Hundreds of police officers in all the states are saying “nup”.’ 

‘They thought they signed up to serve and protect’, he said to crowd cheers.

‘There are 20,000 teachers saying no to forced vaccination’.

‘Around 200 Victorian police contacted me saying they don’t want to be part of this [pro vac agenda], ‘ he said. ‘A new national police union is about to start. There’s 9,000 doctors and nurses have joined.’ Mr Hood then mentioned the website www.policeforfreedom.org.

He also claimed that PCR tests don’t work, then led a Christian prayer and song.

The protest started at 12noon, with a march up to the headland.

Many of the protesters were wearing white shirts, with a range of occupations inscribed on their backs, including the years they have worked. 

At the march, video footage depicted police being hugged by protesters. There was strong support for their presence at the rally.

Police get a hug from protesters

Meryl Dorey speaks

Meryl Dorey, who was introduced as being from the AVN (now correctly known as the Australian Vaccination-risks Network Inc) spoke after the march. 

She said she started [what was then known as] the AVN with others in 1994, as her son ‘was injured by his vaccines’.

She said, ‘There was no info available at the time’.

‘It wasn’t right to make a decision without having information, especially when it can kill’.

She also made the controversial, (and incorrect insofar as she was referring to COVID-19), claim that the ‘virus doesn’t exist’. 

‘Media and politics is the virus’, she continued.

Ms Dorey later told The Echo her full quote was: ‘Over a virus that, as far as I’ve been able to see, does not exist’. 

A link was provided by her to support her claim of a ‘Lack of isolation or purification of the SARS-COV-2 virus’.

She told The Echo, ‘The AVN has sent two requests in to our Commonwealth health department and received the same answer – no records can be found to prove that we have ever identified, isolated or purified this particular virus’.

The full link is: https://www.fluoridefreepeel.ca/fois-reveal-that-health-science-institutions-around-the-world-have-no-record-of-sars-cov-2-isolation-purification/

Her claim of a non existent virus are at odds with the millions of reported cases worldwide and the views of the majority of the scientific community. 

She told the crowd on Friday that the government messaging had changed: ‘They say died “with” covid, not “from” covid’.

Ms Dorey also encouraged the crowd not to vote for major parties, including the Greens.

‘Your rights stop at my skin, and at the skin of my children’ she said to applause.

Ms Dorey also pointed to the recent Fair Work Commission judgement on an unfair dismissal case.

In a recent case Jennifer Kimber’s employer told her that she needed to take an influenza shot to continue working. She lodged an unfair dismissal claim and lost, a decision confirmed by the Full Bench. However at the rally Ms Dorey claimed that pages 32-44 of the FWC judgement (possibly referring to the dissenting judgement of Dean) show it is illegal for an employer to require vaccination for employment in Australia.

Later, she told The Echo, ‘I realise that the first half of the decision did not save Jennifer Kimber, but the second half – from page 32-44 as I stated – was a great victory. That dissenting opinion should open the door to an appeal against the requirement to receive a vaccination in order to work – a breach of international treaties, natural justice and, quite possibly, the Commonwealth Constitution’.

The view that ‘international treaties, natural justice’ or the Constitution can override emergency health orders during a pandemic have not been supported by the legal fraternity.

Law firm McCullough and Roberston published their view on the matter here: www.mccullough.com.au/2021/09/29/dont-believe-the-hype-dismissal-of-employee-who-refused-to-be-vaxxed-was-not-unfair/

Reasonable and proportionate response to the risk to human health

Meanwhile, legal expert and academic at UNSW, Professor George Williams, told The NSW Council for Civil Liberties in July, ‘The Constitution protects only a few rights in Australia, and none of these rights have been affected by the lockdowns. (We are the only democracy without a national Charter of Rights or human rights act, though some States do have their own human rights Acts)’.

‘And our Governments are empowered to take these measures. Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, orders can be issued to prevent the spread of disease. For example, these can require individuals to remain in isolation, be subject to medical examinations, and submit to treatment. Failure to comply can result in a fine or a jail sentence’. 

Professor Williams said, ‘The parliamentary Statement of Compatibility on the Biosecurity Bill noted that ‘some provisions of the Bill would appear to infringe personal rights and freedoms’, particularly in the case of any outbreak of a listed human disease where individuals ‘may be required to comply with certain biosecurity measures’. Nonetheless, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, having considered the provisions, was ‘satisfied that they are reasonable and proportionate to the risk to human health’.

And regarding whether the UN Charter of Human Right would ‘provide rights inconsistent with these lockdowns’, he said, ‘In the absence of a federal Charter of Rights, these [human rights] are only enforceable at the international level, and not within Australian law’.

This article was amended on Sunday October 3 to include extra clarification around Ms Dorey’s claims.  


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  1. Most community minded people have had their COVID vaccination, not for themselves but for those around them.

    The behaviour of those involved in the protest today deserve nothing more than steep fine and jail. The are exhibiting selfish behaviour without any thought for others.

    • Since the government and the medical community openly admit that those who receive the jab can both contract COVID and transmit it to others, I fail to see how not getting jabbed can be equated with selfish behaviour – especially when the fully jabbed are still infectious?

      • People openly admit that you can get injured in a car accident even if you were a seatbelt.

        By your logic you should definitely stop wearing a seatbelt.

        In the case of a seatbelt it only effects you, but the jab is about others too.

          • Seat belts often cause bodily injury in crash events (cracked rib cages etc.) but they do prevent you from flying headfirst through the windshield and becoming a paste on the road. In much the same way, the vaccine is reported to mitigate the more serious consequences of Covid-19 infection. If you’ve ever been vaccinated against the flu you would know that you are still able to contract the flu. You can argue semantics all you like, but the results regarding efficacy speak for themselves.

      • Because you clearly haven’t bothered to inform yourself about how no vaccines are 100% effective but the less virus circulating the less likely any one individual is to come in contact with it and the fewer people who end of in hospital taking up for weeks an ICU bed that someone else may desperately need.

      • You have every right to decide what you put in your body. What is selfish is not taking a vaccination that reduces the risk of infection and so transmission, and then demanding the right to go about and risk spreading the virus. Youse do youse, but please stay at home until our health system can cope with youse.

        • No-one knows how these jabs will affect them personally. It is not selfish to consider that the safety of the jabs may not be as safe as media and so-called “health experts” keep saying, especially when no voice has been given to those who have been vaccine injured.

          • You’re right, Jac – no-one knows how the vaccines will affect them individually and we don’t have any data about long-term effects. We’ll only get this by wide uptake in the community and living a few more years to find out.

            What we do have a very good handle on though is what happens if, in the absence of reasonable vaccination levels, everybody just goes about their lives as normal. We saw where the exponential growth was heading in NSW (and has strangely reversed as vaccination levels have climbed) and we can see the total blowout in Victoria; all this has still occurred despite strict lockdowns in place in both states. All it has taken for Victoria to go haywire has been a weekend of grand final parties and some ill advised biffo on the streets.

            As the good libertarians in our shire have been telling us for a while now (despite so comparatively few impacts on our lives here really), people are sick of not going to parties, music festivals etc and it would be also good if all the kids could go back to school.

            Vaccination is offering some sort of hope that we can do stuff again without thousands of deaths, even more lives affected by long Covid and totally stuffed health care systems. Accordingly state governments are asking those who will be in contact with lots of people, especially vulnerable people like those in aged care, hospital patients, unvaccinated kids at school etc, to get vaccinated. It’s heavy stuff – and I think there has been quite good transparency on the rare adverse effects. But just demanding that the virus go away – because all that mask wearing and distancing is so inconvenient and oppressive – won’t change the alternatives on offer.

            It’s very understandable to have reservations about a new vaccine and not selfish to be hesitant. However, I think Peter put it beautifully saying “please stay at home until our health system can cope with youse.” I’d add perhaps find another job until the country gets some control of this and a picture of what’s going on. Take heart, the NSW government thinks most of this will be solved by Dec 1 and our new right-wing premier is more than likely to bring it on before then.

            Of course all this will be irrelevant to anyone who thinks the virus is a hoax. That – like the moon landing, all those scenes of mass graves, the people in hospital beds and the nurses attending them begging us to take it seriously – its all been carefully stage managed. There’s not a lot of constructive discussion that can take place when its underpinned by such vastly different assumptions.

          • In reply to the ubiquitous “Liz”, from someone far more eloquent than myself, at whose feet I’m sure she worships…”blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah…..”

          • Rather cryptic OH, but OK that’s done it! I’m sure the “blah, blah, blah” bit is just far too sophisticated an analysis. Silenced forever – no more ubiquity for me!

    • Couldn’t agree more. There needs to be some consequences for these people choosing not to vaccinate- perhaps if they get Covid and aren’t vaxxed, no hospital treatment? I wonder if some consequences for their ‘choices’ would change their minds?

        • Dale, perhaps have a look at the real numbers –
          then for good measure check out the Echo pages “science goes viral” under Opinion from September 23.

        • You know how vaccines work right?
          They re-create the virus but it’s a non transferable version.
          So it’s normal to get sick if you would have been weak to getting the virus in the first place.

        • That is not just incorrect & utterly nonsensical, it is pure fabrication.
          I suggest checking your facts & relying on any number of credible sources above the dodgey sources you prefer

        • Very few fully vaccinated people are dying, or getting seriously ill and filling hospitals.

          Most of the people in hospital and those who’ve died have NOT been fully vaccinated. It’s dangerous and deplorable for people to be spreading such lies and putting lives and FREEDOMS at risk.

          It’s NEVER been claimed that the covid vaccinations stop the disease spreading, but it certainly does stop people getting seriously ill and dying and our hospitals from filling up. People have every right to refuse vaccinations, but they don’t have the right to put other peoples’ lives and FREEDOMS at risk.

          Over 700’000, mostly unvaccinated, Americans have died from covid. That equates to around 54,000 Australians if not for masks, lock downs and vaccinations. Donald Trump let the virus rip and that’s the huge price Americans have paid.

          There needs to be consequences for these selfish, uninformed people spreading lies, who seem determined to see refrigerated trucks full of bodies and mass graves in Australia as they’ve had in America.

      • Good point. With the government spending billions on vaccines, why not try and recoup some of the taxpayer dollars by denying Medicare to those
        that refuse vaccination that require hospitalization because of Covid. It wouldn’t be denying care, they’d just have to pay for it. When Australia reaches 80%, this would be a good starting point.

      • That is a disgusting idea. All people, no matter whether vaccinated, unvaccinated, immuno-compromised, or with underlying conditions (ncluding self-inflicted conditions such as those caused by bad eating habits, lack of exercise or drug abuse) should be denied medical attention. Check your compassion and empathy dial.

        • True, none of us can be too righteous about our little vices and shortcomings in self discipline. However there is precedent for recouping some health costs through our very considerable tobacco and alcohol excises. Many health advocates also propose a sugar tax.

        • Isn’t that the U.S. situation? the bit about denying medical attention to all people?
          Yes I know it’s not what you meant to say, but how is wilfully exposing yourself – and thereby others – to serious health problems, even death, showing “compassion and empathy”.
          Not to mention utilising valuable healthcare resources that delay treatment to others.
          When risk takers are killed and injured the public attitude partly seems to be “it was foreseeable” “their risk” etc. Courts punish heavily those idiot drivers who kill or maim through poor risk-taking behaviour, excessive speeding, drink-driving, recklessness, lack of seat belts etc. There are frequent calls to recover costs for search and rescue from bushwalkers, sailors and fishos who don’t carry EPIRBs or emergency comms, or fail to wear life jackets. So what’s your plan? Hope the system you don’t trust now you’re currently healthy will magically become trustworthy when you get sick? hmm

        • Isn’t that the U.S. situation? the bit about denying medical attention to all people?
          Yes I know it’s not what you meant to say, but how is wilfully exposing yourself – and thereby others – to serious health problems, even death, showing “compassion and empathy”.
          Not to mention utilising valuable healthcare resources that delay treatment to non-covid patients.
          When risk takers are killed and injured the public attitude partly seems to be “it was foreseeable” “their risk” etc. Courts punish heavily those idiot drivers who kill or maim through poor risk-taking behaviour, excessive speeding, drink-driving, recklessness, lack of seat belts etc. There are frequent calls to recover costs for search and rescue from bushwalkers, sailors and fishos who don’t carry EPIRBs or emergency comms, or fail to wear life jackets. So what’s your plan? Hope the system you don’t trust now you’re currently healthy will magically become trustworthy when you get sick? hmm

    • The whole world’s laughing at us.for our draconian ways where’s. The evidence it changes every day.wear a mask don’t wear one do this don’t do this their all guessing. If the government wanted to make it mandatory they should of said not come up with all the crap that it’s not are all the unvacced sposed to live under a palm tree and eat coconuts.

    • Actually Marianne . I always believe that the most community based action is to respect every human being and their decisions regarding important issues like health. We should not point fingers or control people or tell them they are wrong. We should learn to live with respecting each other. If you have had the jab I am very happy for you as you should feel protected and safe . A vaccine should be doing this right ? Protecting you ? So why are you so fearful of what others do ? Unless you have realised that this so called vaccine is not protecting you as you were ked to believe ? Unless you have the third…fourth….fith ….and whatever other cocktail they will come up with for your protection and that of the community. I choose to stay safe and making my community safe by respecting each person, by looking after myself and my family teaching them to not make any decision based on fear , to help the person in front of you , and more importantly to not judge or discriminate.

      • Respect is a two way street. You can’t demand people respect the choices you make which puts others’ lives at risk, when you have no respect, or concern, for THEIR right to have a life!

        You would think that in Australia, where most people have had access to one of the best education systems in the world, people would understand that unless the majority of the population is vaccinated, we’re ALL AT RISK!!

        Those of us who’ve been around a while were very grateful for vaccinations against things such as smallpox, diphtheria and polio, which means people alive today have never experienced those diseases or the terrible consequences. Most of the people spreading misinformation would have been vaccinated as babies and consequently are alive and well.

        The self absorption and lack of concern, let alone respect, for others expressed above is absolutely appalling.

      • I’ll admit, Marvel that when I was vaccinated it was with self interest at the forefront – it’s a side benefit that it’s part of the general effort that has seen Sydney’s infection numbers go from 1,600 in a day to in the 600s now in just weeks.

        But I find your derision an insult to the thousands of you d people – under less threat from the virus than me – racing to be vaccinated to protect their families, their colleagues and their communities in general. It’s so heartening that this is the majorly response.

  2. Sorry but I cannot see how these sorts of gatherings can be described as peaceful. At a time when Australia is faced with its greatest ever health crisis, from a highly infectious pathogen, they are life threatening. That’s without considering the damage done to businesses and livelihoods by Covid outbreaks.

    Who would organise a rally at the Border Monument when Queensland (living a lifestyle of freedom that is the envy of the world) is trying desperately to quell the niggling outbreaks – and border closure is part of the effort.

    What on earth has “Indigenous sovereignty” got to do with this apart from trying on smoke screen to add credibility and gain totally unwarranted sympathy. Has anyone at this rally bothered to look at what has been happening in Wilcannia where federal government neglect of the vaccine rollout eventuated in half of the extremely vulnerable, predominantly indigenous population becoming infected?

    If this is the protest that was identified in the # Reclaim the Line advertisement in last Tuesday’s Echo, it is absolutely mind boggling that groups that claim to represent health workers, would be so keen to fight for the right to give them dangerous, overwhelmed work places and the horrible decisions about who gets a ventilator. To demand the very things the vast bulk of front line health care workers are pleading with us to avoid.

    I find these people (apart from the ones who have no more sense than to allow themselves to be manipulated) beyond contempt. And Echo, a little bit of balance to the bs you have been happy to quote here wouldn’t go astray!

  3. More lack of judgment and exaggeration from these selfish people. I think they learned about alternate facts from the trumpster. They need a dose of ivermectin and a good lie down, then they may face reality. For example Ms Dorey misreads the unfair dismissal case in that it was upheld and she only read the one dissenting voice. And obviously mr hood won’t be flying for qantas anymore if he doesn’t get vaccinated. Talk about bad judgement in a pandemic hugging and no mask wearing as expected, but in their minds Covid doesn’t exist.

  4. I cannot believe what some people believe. If they see something on social media they believe it, however ridiculous it is. Oh well, when they want to travel overseas and are denied entry unless they have a vaccination certificate, maybe they will change their minds.

  5. Hello Echo.. if you could please point us all to the isolation of the virus.. as many FOI requests around the world have failed to produce ANY isolated virus evidence.. including 7 Australian institutions.. when you can produce the actual isolated virus vectors the WORLD will be interested to see as well. Until then please refrain from the comments such as “ She also made the controversial, (and incorrect insofar as she was referring to COVID-19), claim that the ‘virus doesn’t exist’. ” as her comment was correct. There is NO proof of an isolated virus called COVID-19.

    • FOI – for a virus? What proof would you like, Birdie: a view down a microscope or would a photograph do? Or how about the virus’ genomic sequencing? Would you recognise what you were looking at if someone showed you?

      You think the worlds most learned scientists have been duped but no-ones pulling the wool on you, Birdie!

      This old furphy is really so tired it should be well and truly retired.

      • Birdie, I apologise to you and anyone else I may have been curt with yesterday. Watching the numbers emerge from Victoria lately, where I have close friends and family, and where there have been disgusting displays of selfish behaviour in “freedom” rallies, I had little tolerance for any apologists for Friday’s protests.

        I should have been more constructive.

        You are correct that there is no virus called Covid19- that is the name of a disease and is shorthand for Coronavirus disease 2019 (2019 marking the year it was detected). The virus that causes the disease is called SARS-CoV-2. This stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (2 because a similar virus emerged in 2003)

        Scientists from around the world tell us they have been able to culture and observe it under electron microscopes. The best proof that it is uniquely different from other viruses is to map its entire genetic material, it’s genome sequence, which scientists tell us they have also done. I can hear you saying “well they would say that wouldn’t they!”

        Like you, I haven’t seen the virus for myself – mainly because they don’t let untrained people go into the sorts of secure conditions under which study of dangerous pathogens is conducted. But – many years ago I attended a university and have less distrust of our learning and research institutions as places of genuine endeavour to seek the truth about the real world. I certainly have more faith in the general consensus that emerges from them than from a couple of videos made by attention seeking outliers on YouTube that manage to go viral (great pun)

        A vector of a virus is something that disperses it. WE are probably the main vectors for SARS-CoV-2, passing it from one to others.

        I’m not qualified but I’m happier to listen to those who are and my basic high school biology tells me it makes much more sense than some of the popular myths.

        This is serious stuff with life and death consequences. It is not something to have a fun dabble with on social media and remember – the fine line between “freedom fighter” and “terrorist” largely depends on who’s side you’re on.

      • A natural virus can be isolated. However this can’t? And your response says more about your position than my request for truth in reporting. But more interestingly have you looked at the blood of a vaccinated person under a microscope? Perhaps you should. There’s something very wrong with the blood of the vaccinated.

        • Birdie, I assumed that it would be taken from my words that SARS-CoV-2 has indeed been isolated. How did you infer I was suggesting it can’t?

          I also assumed it would say something about my position. Phew!

          But please tell us more on the research you are doing on the the blood of the vaccinated. Have you got sponsorship, how are you selecting you research subjects, has it gone past an ethics committee and when do you intend to publish?

    • Unfortunately I don’t have proof of your existence, either, Birdie. I have never seen you personally. There is a fair chance you are just a bot or simply a figment of my imagination. So I have a choice – whether to acknowledge your existence, or simply pretend you don’t exist because I find you troubling and inconvenient. I could do that… but unfortunately, I have to acknowledge your existence. (Also because I believe The Echo probably has an anti-bot filter.)

      In fact, I have biomedical expert colleagues who have seen (and indeed grow and research) the SARS-COV-2 virus cells in their lab. In real life. I believe them.

    • Obviously birdie has a clue- virus vector. Ain’t that us humans spreading Covid. Vector is the way it is spread and what are people sick of and dying from birdie- a world wide conspiracy to decrease the population-=come on think.

  6. Would you trust this ex-Qantas pilot to fly you anywhere? He ‘led prayers and song’ after his speech, but for whom? Those that will die from Covid or those naysayers risking it all for everyone else? I couldn’t help thinking of the poor souls who lost their lives when suspected suicide pilots crashed their commercial airliners into the sea, Tokyo Bay or the Swiss Alps, when life had become too much for them… His claims sound like all a big ‘Hood-wink’ to me… and don’t get me started on the anti-vaxxer guru Dorey, enough has been said about her campaigns and the misleading former name of her ‘network’.

  7. So their all scared of a Phamceutical vaccine…hmm but most of them at some point have taking drugs made in a illegal drug lab. W T F!

  8. What pathetic and weak coverage from The Echo of what was a nation-wide protest for all the workers who are losing their jobs because of being FORCED in have their bodies invaded by a completely unknown technology with no long term side effect studies. Growing around the entire world are more and more countries saying NO to these injection mandates. Australia is the laughing stock of the world right now. PRO CHOICE. No forced medications. Vaccines are killing tens of thousands of people.

    • All these workers? Close to 90% of the NSW adult population has had a first dose. What about this vast majority who want to work in a safe workplace.

    • That’s good news Mike. There are plenty of unemployed people in Australia who have got vaccinated and want a job, so those who refuse to be vaccinated should have to give up their jobs that require vaccination – so others can get a go. It is good that Daniel Andrews is implementing this in Victoria; hopefully our new premier will show the same leadership in NSW

  9. Vaccinations have always been mandatory for health professionals as with many other professions. This vaccine is no different, so I don’t believe health professionals would have any concerns being vaccinated. This is bigger than you yourself, it’s about our communities, our families, let’s start to think more globally again instead of being so solo in our thoughts and beliefs.

    • The mRNA vaccines are VERY different. No long-term data and high incidences of vaccine injury, but you won’t hear that on your tele and FYI, there ARE many health professionals choosing not to get vaccinated. Any guesses why? Could it be because they’ve SEEN the vaccine injuries?

      • Maybe you should do some research beyond facebook, or hey, here’s an idea – talk to a real doctor! Could it be that approach is better than your baseless speculation.
        mRNA vaccines have been widely & successfully used globally for over a decade to combat rabies in particular, & for the past 5-6 years, against the zika virus….& guess what? – the mRNA zika-vax is given mainly to pregnant women & those of child-bearing age who may wish to become pregnant. How many years of vaccine use do you want before you call it “long-term data”?
        Unfortunately for your argument, both the usage & variety of applications of mRNA vaccines are being increased because the close monitoring for side effects has demonstrated their safety and effectiveness.

  10. A QANTAS pilot and a leading antivaxxer, yep right there two medical experts. And did I miss the YouTube video of people being held down and give the Vax by force? Don’t think so. It’s not a forced vaccination, it’s a mandory condition of your employment. There’s a huge difference

  11. The willfully unvaccinated should be given a hospital care bill when they get Covid. Then charge them with manslaughter for complicity in the death from Covid of those who can’t vaccinate because of medical frailty.

    • Same goes for anyone who drinks alcohol, smokes, eats unhealthy takeaway or lacks exercise. These are the people who take up the majority of hospital beds with chronic diseases. These are the people with weakened immune systems.

      Before one demand others to take experimental injections for the health of “others”. “Others” should optimise their own health first.

      Do you drink alcohol Fred?

      • Experimental no mike.a bit sanctimonious you do know about an immune system works mike? Obviously not or you wouldn’t say this crap.

      • Yes Mike, these people get the same medical treatment as the most avid health fanatic and the world is full of injustice. That doesn’t alter the fact that the vaccines’ impacts on hospitalisation and ICU admissions, needs to be a factor in decision making.

  12. I just want you to say congratulations for Martin with no violence even the police to give her hugs to the people who marched 💜❤️🧡 that is their Australian spirit …To more people are in the hospital now are the people who have been vaccinated,is not the people Faults , is the Government who pressure the people to have the vaccine, we are Australians and most of all we are all humans,,

    • That’s a poor reading of the stats John. Compare unvaccinated to vaccinated in icu cases then you get the picture. So go and get faxed, to quote bill shorten, you man baby.

    • I really don’t believe that the police voluntarily hugged people! I suspect the protesters hugged the police in a show of false affection. Why would the police hug un vaccinated people and put their health at risk??

  13. I think you really need to fact check yourself. You are very, very, very wrong. A quick google search fact checking your statements shows the results. Doherty Institute jave done it. If you are referring to a video of that Canadian dude who said this, he was debunked and oh yeah he died of covid 6 months later. You are welcome.

  14. Quite extraordinary really – faced with the option of free vaccines to alleviate the severity of a virus that’s potentially disabling and deadly these people would rather gather in numbers to follow blindly those with absolutely no qualifications in relevant areas, and to apparently make every effort to spread said virus.
    Having spent nearly 40 years endeavouring to instill skills in critical thinking in young minds this is extremely disappointing.

  15. So how come only the estimated number that attended is reported and never the number of people in the area that did not attend which I would guess would be a much larger crowd based on census from Tugun to kingscliff. That would be a better perspective. Guess the percentage would not be as impressive. Will these people have the same convictions if they get infected. I would hesitate to say they will seek treatment and take a bed, that could have been prevented, from possibly someone who has other health issues that may get bumped, and possibly spread it to others in their community they deem to care about.

    There are alot of people whose mental health is not being damaged by the lockdowns, as much as by the actions of a few, whose actions ensure the lockdowns are extended to the majority, who are impacted just as much.

    As for vaxine passports, I remember my parents having to have certain vaccines before they could travel 40 years ago, e.g rabies, yellow fever, small pox. If you didn’t have it, couldn’t go, so why is this being raised like it is something knew? Also when protesting, you can obey the law, and not put people at risk, heard of petitions, letters to members, online? Debates, etc, facts based evidence.

  16. I’m happy for you all to be my vaccine guinea pig. Think it was the Victorian health that said 73% in hospital with covid are fully vaccinated and 17% with their first dose. This is Australia not China and yes we have a right to choose. Mandatory is not Law. Keep your head in the sand, we will see over the next 5 years what the vaccine trial results and effects will be

    • I’m not a guinea pig, Elaine because unlike lab animals I had the chance to inform myself and make a choice. I’m happy to be part of the trial group and you are obviously happy to be part of the control group. Just one thing, while you’re waiting to feel safe enough will you agree to sat away from us?

    • “Think it was Victorian health” – or perhaps the grapevine? Try Covidlive.com.au

      On Oct 1 Victoria had 395 Covid-19 patients in hospital – 74% were totally unvaccinated, 21% we’re partially vaccinated, 5% were unvaccinated.

      • Doh! 5% were fully vaccinated.

        Why? We are told that the vaccines will be less effective in some of the immune compromised, including age related, some people have become infected before a two week period from vaccination. No vaccine is 100% effective.

    • Hey Elaine, great that you follow the media so closely to have picked that up….
      What you obviously (or wilfully?) failed to see what the almost immediate correction which is the exact opposite of your trumpeting. 5% were fully vaxxed, 73% were unvaxxed.
      But good luck with the next 5 years. You should be alright since you know better

    • More likely to see the vaccinated, than the unvaccinated based on current stats in five years. Rather be a Guinea pig than dead or infecting the community.

    • You do that he misquoted that Elaine. Fact checking necessary before you repeat what he acknowledged was a misquote.so what’s to minimise you getting infected, us vaxed people. Don’t be a free loader.

  17. I agree with Fred.
    And there is no vaccine for stupidity.
    From Monday 11 October 2021 only fully vaccinated people can enter hospitality venues.

  18. You effn bunch of lousy selfish self-entitled anti-community minded youknowwhats!

    I met a bloke yesterday whose Mother died after contracting Poliomyelitis shortly before the vaccine against that dreaded beast became available. That vaccine was gladly taken up by the community and guess what, no real incidence of Poliomyelitis in the community since then!

    You lot really really REALLY want to make a stand?

    How about one of you create a publically accessible website* where you all can show the world just how supremely confident you are of yourselves and your thinking by adding your names to it and publically pledging that you WILL NOT enter the public health system should you contract Covid (any variant) at any time in the future that follows after that point.
    Make sure it has a space to lateron add it it your covid mortality or long-term living with covid status won’t you!

    Go on.

    Show the world just how supremely confident you are you’re betting on the right horse!


    Of course we all know that the healthcare folks will administer to you when you present with covid despite your previously lousy attitude, so you really better be ready to thank them profusely when your time comes, if you make it out alive that is.

    * May show how truly stupid some people really are.

  19. I have reached the opinion that the anti vaxxers do not look for or analyze any information contrary to their belief. It is of absolutely no use using common sense, current reliable statistics, or proven medical facts to change their understanding.
    The only real life changer for them is when they are seriously ill or dying of Covid (that doesn’t exist) and begging for help. The laws of consequence should be that they should not have priority over people that have taken precautions and the bill for their healthcare is in the mail.

  20. Wake up people, your being used for political purpose by elements of the LNP/ ACL religious fundamentalist and their various and numerous offshoots, New Liberals, Liberal Democrats. Hanson, Palmer, Katter etc etc. Campbell Newmans Liberal Democrats, who organise the sky signage at these events. It’s a pathetic attempt to destabilise the important work being done by the incredibly successful QLD Labor govt.

  21. You know the worse thing I saw from pictures of rally was the silly person with the yellow star saying unvaccinated. You do realise the significance of that person, I don’t remember any ghettos or concentration camps for the unvaccinated with stormtroopers dragging them off. They need a dose of reality and to stop comparing themselves to the holocaust. Just plain disgusting and why do we give these whackos oxygen as they are a very, very small minority with giant egos

  22. Listen to all of the replies. Seriously
    Now I have to reply. There will be more strains or variants. Do we vaccinate for the next or ever. Is there any world leading medical professors who can categorically 100percent with certainty can say that vaccination now is the solution. Wouldn’t it take a decade to analyze the change or unknown reactions. F**k off

    • Kerry, viruses mutate and vaccines are adapted to deal with this – like the annual flu shot. As it’s a much nastier disease I’m happy to get an annual shot against Covid-19 if necessary. No medical professors will give you a 100% guarantee about anything – if they did we’d need to be worried.

      You don’t sound that informed about the whole vaccination thingy and your angry sign-off doesn’t indicate a willingness to find out more (by discussing your personal situation and misgivings with your GP) this is a shame because the decision you will make about vaccination is worth serious consideration.

    • 6.3 billion people, around the world, have already made that decision… i think i noticed one with your name on it in the frig, best taken chilled.

  23. All I can add is thank GOD (what ever that means to you) that at least 80% to 90% of people can see through the antivax disinformation, and have got vaccinated. The antivaxxers will have to come to terms with the reality that very soon 8 to 9 out of every 10 people they meet will be fully vaccinated. Personally I can’t wait for that day, when I can live around people who understand medical science and who care about their wider community.

  24. All comments wanting to punish and harm those who want personal choice over their bodies are just showing how controlling and abusive they are capable of being. Human Rights violations are never OK. Coercion and threats to livelihood is not a choice. This vaccine has not been fully tested, it was rushed and you don’t know what it’s long term ramifications are. Also people’s mental, spiritual, financial and social well-being are as fundamental as good health.

    • At some point in the future, as lockdown lifts, we will all almost inevitably get Covid – vaccinated or unvaccinated.

      Being unvaccinated however, will much more likely result in a more serious Covid response (the current US example), possibly even hospitalisation and lengthy and expensive recuperation (some 35% of infected estimated to suffer from long-Covid).

      If this happens to you, it will require others to care for you – between 2-6 nurses alone required to turn you over daily often for weeks if incubated.

      As someone living in a decent society with access to free and decent healthcare, you will likely gratefully accept the care and free treatment with open arms.

      That’s really your “choice” in Australia. Libertarianism (self above all else), is a modern US born concept, and not in keeping with the Australian (traditional and recent arrivals) spirit of altruism.

      Now do the right thing, and just get vaccinated.

    • What the right to get infected and the right to infect. You do know in the health service you do have to have been vaccinated for other diseases. Suppose ivermectin is not experimental?

    • Vaccine mandates are not a human rights violation. Denial of access to services because of something you’ve chosen to do or not do is not a violation of your freedom or fundamental human rights. You have a choice and therefore you are responsible for the consequences. That’s being an adult.
      If your choice is a risk to public safety, then the safety of the public is prioritised over you because, even though they don’t get to participate in your decision-making, they are the ones adversely effected by it. If you choose to drink and drive repeatedly you lose your licence; if you choose to be a high vector risk for a life-threatening illness, your vector potential is limited by reducing your access to the wider public.
      Your personal freedom is not unlimited, it is contingent upon not depriving the freedoms of others. You don’t get to drive on the footpath when it’s more convenient because that means pedestrians have nowhere to safely travel; Unvaccinated people don’t get to access the same services as everyone else as a higher vector risk, causing continued case numbers (they are the majority of current cases) and extending lockdowns for people who are doing the conscientious thing.
      The vaccine was rushed in the same way funding, emergency services and legislation can be rushed: it doesn’t mean it’s been done poorly, it means it has been given the highest priority. I don’t know what you mean by “fully tested”, honestly. There’s multiple phases to vaccine licensing/ registration and they are subject to continuous monitoring. The TGA has provisionally approved and registered 4 vaccines of the many available. They are quality testing every batch that is made available in Australia. Because of the emergent nature of the pandemic (and as in previous cases) the extremely low potential of long term adverse effects was weighed against the rampant and continuing loss of human life. If I believed that any one of the anti-vaccine protesters were going to roll up their sleeves after a 10 year trial, if it was demonstrated at any point by these protesters that they aren’t ignorant, selfish, anti-science, walking Dunning-Kruger outcomes that disgustingly value themselves over the millions of people that have died and would continue to die while we twiddle our thumbs waiting for a long-term study to be published, if it seemed remotely likely that these pseudo-libertarian nonconformists would actually adhere to public safety recommendations and mandates for the decades a long-term trial takes, then maybe I would have a modicum of respect for that particular argument.

      • Emily…you are my hero! Better expressed than anywhere else published. Well done for taking the time to try and distill some common sense. Common sense is not that common.

      • That’s the thing Em, choice in this context is not a threat to public safety.

        Jabbed or otherwise, we all pose risk.

        Thinking the jabbed don’t and un-jabbed do is absolutely farcical and continues down a path that only serves to promote a divided society and further wealth in-equality. I’m hoping you aren’t a big pharma lobbyists.

        The jab is not a silver bullet and it certainly isn’t the only bullet.

        And for those rubbishing alternative treatments, usually people work together in a crisis to find alternatives, not supress them.

        I wish you well.

        • But you’re rubbishing the vaccines, Steve and doing you’re best to cloud the issues by harping on about how vaccinated people can get the virus and pass it on. WE KNOW – but it’s less likely and to make an impact it takes widespread uptake.

          That’s what working together is, as well as observing infections protocols not racing to a massed gathering on a closed border. And certainly not dismissing everything the vast consensus of health experts are saying.

        • Equating the transmission risk of vaccinated and unvaccinated people is like saying you are as safe in a room full of pythons as you are in a room full of vipers.
          Vaccinated people can still get infected (predominantly breakthrough infections of the Delta variant) as long as there is community transmission (thanks anti-maskers anti-vaxxers!) but are much less likely to be infected than unvaccinated people and are less likely to suffer severe clinical symptoms. To spread it, you have to have it: vaccinated people definitely pose a lower transmission risk.
          Because vaccination is still being actively studied, newest findings regarding viral transmission are preliminary (peer review phase), but all current studies indicate that vaccinated persons have reduced transmissibility compared to unvaccinated persons because viral load reduces much quicker and is less likely to be positive for infectious virus in vaccinated people. Vaccinated people are less contagious and for less time than unvaccinated people.

          I’m the furthest thing from a big pharma lobbyist… I think the people extolling the efficacy of every possible treatment other than vaccines are actually lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies more than they realise. Remdesivir (an anti-viral and the most excusable of all the unproven treatments) costs hundreds of dollars per vial and a full course is thousands of dollars. A vaccine is less than $10. Every time some conspiracy page nut job recommends some completely useless medication, pharmaceutical companies report massive profits for that next quarter. Maybe some marketing genius is just jumping on Q pages and suggesting whatever low seller they have to get rid of, but as long as an ‘independent thinker’ is recommending it instead of a medical professional, you all are eating it up. Ever looked at their investment portfolios or who they might be schilling for?

          Nobody who is qualified to make the judgement is rubbishing alternatives.

  25. This comment section truly scares me.

    How anyone can so completely disregard the worldwide consensus of medical experts etc is beyond me.

    This open letter in The Byron Shire Echo – Issue 36.13 – September 8, 2021, page 8 needs to be compulsory reading for all. Just google for it.
    One factor, sure. But all 4, as David Heilpern so eloquent explains is impossible.

    Calm down and start reading with an open mind.

    I have had my first jab. I am fine. This is a fact. I am grateful that even if I get covid, I will not die and have a high chance of not burdening the health system so that people with other issues can access our world class free health system.

  26. Why on earth did millions die in world wars last century if we didn’t value freedom over safety. FFS people, since when is coercion and murder, (yes murder! when so many people have died because proven treatments are ignored and censored ) a justification for keeping YOU safe and alive. ….and we, who want our freedom of choice and our basic human rights are selfish? You got that twisted…

    • My father saw active service in New Guinea. I can still see and hear his likely reaction if you tried to tell him he risked his life so that crowds like those who have ignored public health orders in a pandemic, could delude themselves they are “freedom fighters”.

      • ….and you Liz, are the ultimate pretzel in all these comments. I’ve had the Rona and recovered just fine using the recommended supplements. I would not go near a hospital where people are dying unnecessarily ….I’m in my 70s BTW

        • footnote regarding your “freedom fighting” lineage, my mother was in a Nazi concentration camp and my father a soldier in the 2nd WW. They came to Australia as refugees in 1949…. I think I have some idea as to the sacrifices people make to escape tyranny and oppression.

        • Some people do get a mild case of “the Rona” – we all know that and the supplements probably didn’t do any harm. But are you sure that’s what it was? I wouldn’t have thought you weren’t into PCR tests.

          In no way was I inviting a “my parents suffered more than yours” competition. I just don’t think that many of that generation, who had real oppression to fight, would be very supportive of the irresponsible grandstanding of people choosing a form of protest optimally designed to spread misery.

          Your freedom of choice? No one has made you get a vaccine and I believe you can also get plenty of supplements, even ivermectin, over the counter. After Dec 1 it seems the NSW government is prepared to let you do what you want regardless of your jab status. Perhaps chill out until then.

          • Oh I’m perfectly chill …its you who keeps spouting drivel and inanity in the hope that you somehow insult. You must make yourself sick 🤢

          • You don’t sound that chill right now, O. It started with the “pretzel” name calling and has quickly descended into rather aggro-sounding abuse.

            I’m not aiming to insult anyone, truly, I just think that on these very important issues, misinformation should be called out and a range of views expressed.

  27. More humans on the planet, live longer, healthier lives than at any time in history thanks to a long list of medical advances of the last century or so, including vaccinations, antibiotics, caesareans, chemotherapy, blood transfusions, incubation, along with better nutrition, sanitation and quarantine. That is irrefutable.

    Now, tell me again, why do you distrust the vast majority of the world’s leading health professionals?

  28. The right to peaceful protest against a government action, is a right that should always be applauded by any who hold our Australian democracy as important.

    I thank the Echo for a balanced coverage of the protest. As an attendee, I felt it was accurately stated.

    I also note, that there is testimony coming from the funeral sector in countries that have been reported as being ‘ravaged’ by Covid, and these people are saying that there is no overall increase in funerals over previous years. There has been no upsurge in business that they expected, and in some cases it was less than normal.
    An inconvenient and ignored truth in the fear saturated media narrative!

    • What a load of garbage!
      What funeral sector, which countries? Either you’ve been lied to or you have invented some bizarre fantasy.
      So now the official government figures from every developed country are false? Gawd help us all.

  29. When did we all become so abusive towards our fellow humans that just have a different view in life, the state of the human mind in Australia at present is a lot scarier than covid. A lot of the comments here are something out of a Socialist Republic, even Poland who have been there are standing up against what is happening here. I am not a covid denier but the stats of serious harm for my age is very very slim and those at greater risk will most likley get the jab in hope they don’t get very ill if they get covid. As we all know by now being double jabbed does not stop you contracting it or passing it on, scientifically proven, the jab’s stats have dropped to as low as 35% protection over time, check out Israel, we are a mirror of what is happening there as far as the pfizer shot goes and the hospitals are filling up with people double jabbed, true story but we don’t hear that here on msm. Sure the chances of those that are frail and vunerable dying is lessened which is great but please don’t think the jab is a golden ticket to stop the spread, you still can. The jab needs to viewed from the perspective of it being like a therapeutic that will prevent serious illness and nothing more so stop venting anger on to those that have a different view and be happy you have been jabbed and move on. All this information we know now makes job mandates pretty obsolete doesn’t it.
    Speaking of therapeutics, this is what has been missing this whole time, hasn’t that alarmed anyone ? First time ever this has happened and many medical experts are furious this has happened and some are calling for something to be done about it for crimes against humanity. Readily available therapeutics would have saved a lot of people they have said. The msm narrative that there is no treatment is a big lie and has been proven in many other places around the world. The focus on jabbing people has been the goal, follow the money. Don’t take my word for this just google ” India’s Ivermectin blackout Part V ” It will hopefully open your mind.
    One small thing on the pfizer jabs, did anyone really research properly before getting the jab. Please have a good look at the full ingredients list, one iten to take note of is PEG ( polyethylene Glycol ) a petro chemical which is used in moisturisers, cosmetics, hand wipes and many other household items so you would think it is totally safe right. Then research how PEG is synthesized through a process called ethoxylation and another picture will appear. Ethylene Oxide which has been a labelled carcinogen for 5 years now and 1,4-Dioxane, a probable caricinogen will appear. Since it is used in the processing part of a product it does not have to be analysed for trace amounts or listed on the ingredients list. but trace amounts have been picked up in PEG’s. Polyethylene Glycol is generally used to help absorption, using it externally is one thing but to have this injected into your body is a whole different scenario. One or two times might be ok but with the possibility of ongoing booster shots this opens up a whole can of worms doesn’t it.
    As you will hopefully have picked up from this post you will see that most people who have reservations about these jabs have done a lot more research than most people have. As far as listening to the science, well science is still learning here as is the nature of science. Also I have personally dealt with scienctists that work with Big Corporations and Government and can confirm there are a lot of lies and misinformation due to invested interests.
    Please be kind to each other and stop supporting the Governments narrative pushed on us by msm to divide us so we are fragmented and weaker as a people. Since when has a narrative that causes suffering helped anyone. Stay safe and happy.

    • I think we became “abusive”* when a bunch of scientifically-illiterate people started calling googling and meme sharing internet ‘research’ and expecting it to be treated with the same validity as actual scientific research. Or it was when they started sharing completely made up statistics that obfuscate vital public safety information. Or it was when their actions and misinformation resulted in direct and indirect harm to people. You are not the balanced alternative to the existing scientific evidence that you think you are. You are the Dunning-Kruger effect in action and it is harming other people.

      SARS-CoV-2 is a virus. The parasites treated by Ivermectin are animals (mainly filarial worms or other nematodes). They aren’t remotely close taxonomically, biologically, or in pathogenesis. You are not a researcher, you are a dangerous individual spreading your misplaced distrust in science, and you don’t even understand the absolute basics.

      *I’d argue that having people contradict you on the internet isn’t actually as abusive as you think it is.

    • Some FACTS
      It’s true that the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine does contain polyethylene glycol (PEG). This substance is used in some vaccines but is safe in these quantities. It’s also safely used at higher concentrations as a laxative, and has a range of other uses from food to cosmetics.

      It’s true that in rare cases people can have allergic reactions to PEG, but these are usually to medications where the PEG is the main ingredient, for example in solutions to prepare for colonoscopies. In the vaccine, PEG is just an “excipient”, so not an active ingredient that makes the vaccine work, but present in a small amount to allow the manufacture or storage of the vaccine.

      A 2016 paper describes finding anti-PEG antibodies in 72% of the human samples tested, albeit mostly in very low levels. That doesn’t necessarily mean that many people will experience an allergic reaction.

      The paper looks at the potential for PEG allergies in those who might be given therapeutics containing PEG. It concluded that “under certain threshold concentrations, low to perhaps even modest levels of circulating anti-PEG [antibodies] in most individuals would not adversely affect the safety and efficacy of PEG-modified therapeutics.”

  30. Oh my gosh you people are short sighted. They are not protesting the vaccines or getting vaccinated, they are protesting the loss of everyone’s freedom and trying to prevent our descent into totalitarianism.
    All you people with your 2 dose vaccine passports, will you be lining up for the next booster and the next so you can continue to go to the pub or keep your job? No, where’s your community spirit?
    When the govt. determines there is a population emergency and you will be required to undergo sterilisation or have birth control injections every 6 months to keep job or even your house, will you be lining up for that, no? Where’s your community spirit?
    By the way, if you’ve never worked in education, you have no idea what community spirit is.
    This government response to the SARs-Cov2 virus is destroying Australia. Your attitude, your fear and your hatred is contributing to its downfall.

    • Protesting the loss of freedom? No masks, no social distancing-whose freedom exactly?

      What about the RIGHTS and FREEDOMS of the majority of the population who are doing the right thing, protecting themselves, their families and their community, so they can have a LIFE and FREEDOM from a killer disease? Selfish, uncaring behaviour, which has the potential to destroy other peoples’ lives and freedoms, that’s totalitarianism.

      The ‘freedom’ fighters may change their tune if they end up in hospital seriously ill and begging for a vaccination. Which will be too late of course.

  31. “Remember when we used to treat colds and flu with chicken soup, saltwater gargles and warm tea instead of Communism?” @Fynnderella1

    • Well done, parroting the US far-right mantra that everyone not equally far-right is now a “Commie”. Have you even heard of McCarthyism?

      BTW I’d much rather live in Australia/NZ, or any number of social democracies in Europe, than the capitalism-out-of-control US.

      • Funny, not that long ago if I went on strike, or marched in a protest, I was called a communist. Now that I don’t want to march in the street in a pandemic, I’m called a communist! 👹

  32. I’m vaccinated. It’s my choice and I’m not weighing in on the health and safety debate. However, I don’t have a MyGov account and I don’t want one. My right to privacy doesn’t impact others. I’ve ordered an immunisation record (which takes 10-14 days via post) and have noticed that businesses are only accepting the electronic forms. Including my employer. I feel like I’ve lost the normal freedom I used to have in Victoria. A right to choice on Privacy. A right to work. The ability to access retail. I also note that MyGov Beta is linked to Google analytics – owned by an American Corporation. Do we really have a right to choose? Are we all that far from China’s government online social score system?


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