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WATCH: Australian authorities fire on citizens amid crackdown on anti-lockdown protests

Footage taken at the memorial shows police shooting rubber bullets into the crowds, with people frantically trying to escape.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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On the third day of protests in Melbourne, Australia over COVID-19 lockdowns, police fired rounds of rubber bullets and teargas into fleeing crowds of people.

The protests stemmed from members of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) resisting a government vaccine mandate requiring workers to get vaccinated, according to the Guardian.

A small number of protestors initially gathered at CFMEU's office in the central business district. There had been five reported arrests as of 11am local time.

As numbers swelled throughout the day, groups of protestors made their way down St Kilda Road towards Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, where they sat on the steps outside.

At around 3pm, police formed a line in front of the memorial, urging the protestors to leave back through St Kilda Road.

RSL Victoria slammed the protest, saying the site was "sacred, not a space of protest."

"Under no circumstances, ever, should the Shrine be a place of protest," an RSL spokesperson said in a statement.

While some protestors left through the allowed exit made by police, others stood their ground or argued with officers to leave another way.

According to the Guardian, "Those who did leave by that route were fined $5,000 for breaching public health orders. But few agreed to depart."

Footage taken at the memorial shows police shooting rubber bullets into the crowds, with people frantically trying to escape.

According to the Guardian, more than 200 people were arrested, and two officers were injured by items thrown at them.

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