Thousands of Melburnians have placed their boots outside their homes in a united show of frustration with Premier Daniel Andrews over draconian lockdowns.
As hundreds of protesters clashed with police for a second consecutive day in the CBD, many other Melburnians protested legally in a silent protest amid growing calls for the Victorian leader to stand down.
More than 3,000 initially registered their participation in Sunday’s Give Dan The Boot at-home protest when it was organised earlier in the week.
By Sunday, that number grew to 20,000 as Melburnians and other Victorians flooded social media with photos of shoes placed outside their front doors in protest of the Premier’s handling of the state’s horror second coronavirus wave.
This family in Melbourne’s north-east lined up their boots in a row and made a sign expressing their frustrations with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
This Melbourne family of five sick of lockdown lined up their boots in the family driveway
Boots and shoes of all types, styles, sizes and colours were on display outside front doors, on letterboxes and driveways and even tied to front gates and fences, along with handwritten ‘Give Dan the boot’ signs.
A woman also put out her dolls’ footwear while one man tied his work boots to the garbage bin.
‘That’s where you belong,’ he wrote as the hashtag #givedantheboot started trending on social media.
One woman said the at-home protest was the first time she’d been involved in anything political.
Another woman wrote: ‘Dan deserved the boot six months ago, for negligence, double standards, lies and arrogance. Remember you were appointed by the people for the people, not to hide your mammoth mistakes during this pandemic.’
Victorian Liberal MPs Richard Riordan and Beverley McArthur jumped at another opportunity to take a stand against the Premier.
The mass protest was organised earlier in the week by Victoria Forward, the group run by 19-year-old Donald Trump supporter and Liberal member Edward Bourke.
‘It’s time to stand up to Daniel Andrews, and now you can do it from home!’ the Facebook event reads.
‘Please place a pair of boots or shoes at your front gate or around your fence this Sunday, 13th of September and post a photo to this event or use the tag #GiveDanTheBoot.
The group stressed that no COVID-19 restrictions would be breached.
At least 20,000 Victorians indicated their participation in Sunday’s at-home mass protest
Thousands of Victorians stayed at home to take a stand against their Premier on Sunday
While some protesters clashed with police on Sunday, other Melburnians protested silently at home by placing their boots outside the front door
It comes as police made dozens of arrests in Melbourne’s CBD on Sunday.
Huge crowds of protesters were filmed marching down empty streets in Melbourne for a second consecutive day.
Up to 150 protesters chanting ‘Freedom’ and ‘Power to the people’ were outnumbered by officers at Queen Victoria Market with some throwing fruit at police after raiding market stalls.
Protesters yelled ‘this is not a police state’ and ‘you’ve got to be on the right side of history’.
Footage of violent scuffles and officers on horseback moving through a group inside the market has been posted online.
The wild scenes come after police made 14 arrests and issued at least 51 infringement notices a day earlier on Saturday.
One Melbourne woman showed off her gumboots, ugg boots and an impressive pair of pink cowboy boots. ‘Free metro Victoria,’ she captioned the photo
One Melbourne resident shared a homemade sign she had made with the words #GiveDanTheBoot painted across a piece of cardboard
Victoria Forward frequently posts content urging Mr Andrews to resign and slamming his policies. Pictured: Edward Bourke
A pair of heeled velvet boots were placed beside work boots on this garden ledge
One man decided to put his boots out early asking what he did ‘to deserve’ having Mr Andrews as his premier.
Another shared a homemade sign she had made with the words #GiveDanTheBoot painted across a piece of cardboard.
One woman who doesn’t even live in the coronavirus-riddled state said she too would hang out her shoes in support.
Mr Bourke’s group Victoria Forward is well known for its highly critical stance on Mr Andrews.
In one social media post, the group insisted that 72 per cent of their 15,000-strong following wanted Mr Andrews to resign.
Mr Bourke first rose to fame following a video interview with VICE Australia in 2016, where the then-15-year-old revealed his support of Donald Trump.
He also runs a government relations firm called 470 Bourke, where the teenager calls himself a ‘seasoned political campaigner, activist, and strategist who has a history of success in his political predictions, comments and strategies’.
When Mr Bourke was 14 he started non-profit campaigns before taking on ‘successful global political campaigns’.
Thousand took to social media on Sunday tagging photos with hashtag #givedantheboot
Footage of violent scuffles and officers on horseback moving through a group inside the market has been posted online
The widespread public frustration comes after Mr Andrews revealed Melbourne’s roadmap out of lockdown a week ago.
Currently Melburnians are in the midst of tough Stage Four restrictions which mean residents can only leave their house for four essential reasons – which as gutted local businesses and wreaked havoc on the economy.
These include for one hour of exercise a day, to give or receive care, for work or study and for necessary shopping.
Victoria has recorded 41 new cases and seven more deaths on Sunday to take the state’s death toll to 723 and the national count to 810 since the start of the pandemic in late January.
While Melbourne will remain under stage four lockdown until at least September 28, stage three restrictions in regional Victoria are expected to ease within days.
It comes after the state recorded just 37 new cases and six deaths on Saturday- the lowest number of new infections since the second horror wave of the virus began 11 weeks ago.
It’s also the fourth consecutive day Victoria has recorded less than 50 new cases in a 24-hour period.
Melburnians will enjoy slightly more freedom from midnight tonight when their daily exercise time is doubled from one hour to two.
There are growing calls for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) to resign
Fed up Melbournians have now been under stage four lockdown for six weeks and will remain so until at least September 28
Protesters are seen during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne, Sunday, September 13
The city’s strict night curfew will also be reduced by an hour to start at 9pm instead of 8pm.
There’s growing hope stage four restrictions will be lifted in two weeks if the rate of new daily cases stays under 50.
Cafes, bars and restaurants will not be able to have customers dine outside until at least October 26, and only if the statewide case average has fallen under five for the previous fortnight.
Customers won’t be allowed inside until November 23 and only if there have been no cases at all for the previous two weeks.
The mass silent protest Give Dan the Boot was organised online earlier this week
‘There were a few tense moments when protesters started grabbing fruit and throwing it at police,’ photographer Erik Anderson said from the scene
MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:
Step one: The first step will come in to place on September 13.
Step two: The second step will be implemented when Melbourne has 30-50 COVID-19 cases a day on average over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on September 28.
Step three: The move to step three will occur when there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on October 26.
Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23.
COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal.
Step one – 11.59pm on September 13:
– Curfew will be eased to 9pm-5am
– People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)
– Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours
– Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’
– Childcare and early educators to remain closed
– Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption
– Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry
– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only
– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect
– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping
Step two – September 28:
– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households
– Childcare and early educators can re-open
– Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4
– There will be an increase to permitted workplaces
Step three – October 26:
– Curfew is no longer in place
– There are no restrictions on leaving home
– Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors
– A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another
– Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite
– Work from home is encouraged
– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor
– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed
– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment
– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked
Step four – November 23:
– Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors
– Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time
– All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place
– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue
– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants
Step five – COVID normal:
– Public gatherings have no restriction
– There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes
– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers
– Schools to reopen as normal
– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records