Two chapters of the “freedom fighters” movement have clashed in an extraordinary showdown captured in its entirety on live stream.
Prominent figures from the Melbourne and Canberra groups went head-to-head during their involvement in the five-day protest dubbed “Mission 2 Melbourne”.
It’s understood the movement was initially created as a response to mandatory Covid-19 vaccination and lockdowns during the pandemic.
Now that over 95 per cent of the nation is double-vaccinated and most restrictions have been dropped, the group is focused on opposing a range of new issues including “food security” and “silencing health professionals”.
But tensions boiled over in Sunday evening’s live stream of the group’s protest at Melbourne’s Government House where the itinerary directed attendants to “protest in a social way”.
Things appeared to fall apart though when the protest by the Canberra group reportedly became agressivee and drew the attention of the police.
Leadership from the Melbourne group were subsequently unhappy with the Canberra chapter’s behaviour, and felt they were tarnishing the “respectful” dialogue they had developed with police.
One participant from the Canberra group, known only as Brad, was left “furious” over the accusation his group were wrong in their approach and began accusing Melbourne members of being infiltrators and undercover police.
Several minutes from a fiery exchange between Brad and Melbourne frontline protester Anthony Burge were broadcast to Facebook as it was unfolding.
In part of the explosive exchange, Brad could be heard telling Mr Burge, “you can’t tell people how to protest”.
An accomplice of Mr Burge filmed himself saying the Canberra protesters had been ignoring the local elders’ calls for peace and had “antagonised” them.
Another clip showed Brad calling Mr Burge a “coward”, who then shot back telling him to “not start on me”.
“I have killed myself for this country. Don’t you dare question my intentions,” Mr Burge said.
The merging of the two groups was intended to re-energise the “freedom” movement by consolidating a larger group of “fighters” in one city.
Following the hostile interaction between Melbourne and Canberra groups, Mr Burge seemed to indicate he would be stepping away from his heavy involvement in the movement.
“There has been much bloodletting over the last few weeks inside of our freedom movement. I was once a main protagonist, but I stopped having the heart ️to continually try to educate the people on how they were being mislead,” he wrote to Facebook.
He told followers it was “drawing ever nearer to a time where it all crumbles” and said “wandering around our cities aimlessly and without thought or plan can now end”.
By ceasing the protesting, he hoped “true soul searching” could begin and that “we may take responsibility for ourselves and stop idolising”.