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Australian state on edge as infections soar, protests persist


Undeterred by an alarming virus surge or hundreds of arrests over recent days, demonstrations against a vaccine mandate in the Australian state of Victoria continued on Thursday.


Protests have raged all week after the Victoria government shut down the construction industry for two weeks and made it mandatory for construction workers to get vaccinated.


Protesters were out in Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire, facing off with a beefed police presence in most areas.


Hundreds gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance, a war memorial in Melbourne, shouting messages against Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews, a day after 215 people were arrested following an hours-long standoff at the site.


At least 62 people were also taken into custody on Tuesday after clashes between protesters and police in Australia’s second-largest city left four people injured, including a journalist.

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