Police are ramping up their security for politicians amid an influx of threats of violence as a result of Covid regulations and restrictions.
Thousands of protesters opposed to vaccine mandates swarmed 13 Australian cities as part of ‘freedom rallies’ on Saturday.
Attendees across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart used the protests as an opportunity to threaten and lash out at state and federal leaders, and there was concern that some may not be idle threats.
In Brisbane, there were calls to ‘hang the b**ch’ in reference to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has largely suppressed Covid outbreaks in Queensland with her hardline border stance.
Meanwhile, nooses and gallows have been seen in the streets of Melbourne, with threats made against Dan Andrews’ life on repeated occasions.
In Queensland, personal protection officers who are part of the police force will be ramping up their efforts to keep Ms Palaszczuk and other dignitaries safe.
Protestors were seen holding numerous signs in Brisbane’s CBD, one of which read ‘Pfuck Pfizer’ (pictured)
Among the crowds of angry ‘pro choice’ demonstrators was a large makeshift gallows that hung three nooses made from rope on a long pole
Education Minister Grace Grace said politicians were increasingly being targeted by extremist threats.
‘Have your views, but we’re hearing a lot of members of parliament are getting these kind of emails or phone calls into our electorate offices but they are totally unacceptable,’ she said.
‘Everyone deserves to be safe at work, including politicians.’
Last Friday, an email was sent to several state and federal MPs as well as members of the media threatening ‘fatal violence and a civil war,’ The Courier Mail reported.
The sender had taken issue with the Queensland Government’s policy banning unvaccinated people from restaurants, cafes, sporting arenas and other non-essential activities.
Local MP Brittany Lauga was among those who received the email threatening ‘violence, terrorism and extremism’ and contacted police to make a report.
A protester holds a mock-banner of Daniel Andrews dressed in a prison jumpsuit as rallies unfolded in Melbourne
Police are ramping up their security for politicians amid an influx of threats of violence as a result of Covid regulations and restrictions
‘I understand local doctors have been sent death threats and other threatening letters,’ she wrote on Twitter.
‘I unequivocally condemn these threats of violence, terrorism and extremism.’
Queensland Police confirmed the email is being fully investigated, and any persons found guilty of making threats via email face up to three years in prison.
‘The outcomes of these investigations are considered in ongoing risk assessments to address identified security concerns,’ a spokesman said in a statement.
A large crowd gathered at the Brisbane Botanic Garden on Saturday as part of a co-ordinated nationwide protest against pandemic laws and vaccine mandates.
Brisbane’s CBD was swarming with protestors during the ‘The Worldwide Rally for Freedom’ (pictured) on Saturday
The terrifying image has since caused a stir on social media with one commentator saying they felt ‘genuinely scared’ of those carrying the despicable prop
People participate in a ‘The Worldwide Rally for Freedom’ protest against mandatory vaccinations and lockdown measures in Melbourne
During the protest, which was streamed on Facebook by attendee Justin Allen from the Botanic Gardens, a man could be heard yelling ‘hang the b*tch’.
There were other ugly scenes at the event, including a man toting a noose.
Announcers were seen asking the man clutching the noose to take it back to his car, telling him to ‘take that crap down … this is not the place for stuff like that’ before adding ‘we don’t want that crap here’.
The act was seemingly inspired by a similar incident at a rally in Melbourne last week.
A gallows and noose were strategically placed outside Victorian parliament, with a prop of Premier Daniel Andrews nearby.
A photo of a male attendee proudly holding a tiny handmade noose was also criticised on social media and accused of preceding domestic terrorism (pictured)
Mr Andrews was unimpressed by the stunt and accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison for pandering to extremists by saying he ‘understood ‘ the frustration of the protesters.
‘I don’t have sympathy for violence, I don’t have sympathy for threats,’ he said.
‘I have sympathy for Australians who have had a gutful of governments telling them what to do over the last two years.’
A child was seen holding a flag at the Melbourne CBD Freedom Rally on Saturday