Animal rights protesters are blocking a major Melbourne CBD intersection during the morning peak hour while at an outer suburb, they have chained themselves to a truck.
The city demonstration has blocked the busy Flinders Street and Swanston Street intersection and police are on site.
It is understood the protestors are commemorating the first anniversary of the documentary Dominon, which looked to uncover the underbelly of the animal agriculture.
CBD protesters are holding signs that say: “This is a peaceful protest” and “SOS animal emergency climate emergency”.
Vans draped in black and emblazoned with the web address of a vegan documentary, are parked in the middle of the intersection.
Protests have also been reported in other regions with vegan activists at Pakenham chaining themselves to a truck.
The Country Fire Authority is supporting police to free them.
In the city, some trams have stopped running while others are being diverted. Commuters are being told to consider the city loop train as an alternative.
“It’s causing quite the headache for people,” Public Transport Victoria’s Georgia Main told 3AW.
Victoria Police said it’s monitoring the protest to ensure it is peaceful.
“It is understood protesters have blocked the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets using vehicles, which a small number have chained themselves to,” they said in a statement.
“The safety of the community is our number one priority.”
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“Victoria Police respects people’s right to protest peacefully but will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour or violence.”
VicRoads has urged motorists to allow extra time for travel.
— David Woiwod (@DavidWoiwod) April 7, 2019
It comes after hundreds of animal rights activists rallied on Saturday, as part of a global protest, calling for an end to slaughterhouses outside Queen Victoria Market.
Further protests are expected in Australia on Monday, with vegan activists meeting in Sydney’s Hyde Park.
Scott Morrison slams activists’ behaviour
In the wake of recent visits to farmers’ properties, Scott Morrison has admonished as “un-Australian” the animal activists behind a controversial map of farmers’ addresses and contact details.
The prime minister has also scolded the “shameful” actions of vegan protesters who have invaded farms and abattoirs.
“It is shameful, it is un-Australian,” Mr Morrison told 2GB radio on Monday.
“This is just another form of activism that I think runs against the national interest, and the national interest is being able to farm their own land.”
The Morrison government has put the Aussie Farms website under privacy laws, exposing it to much tougher penalties for refusing to take down the map.
And as about 20 animal rights campaigners chain themselves to equipment at a Queensland abattoir, the prime minister expects the police to play a role.
“I’m expecting state governments – as I’m sure they will – to do their jobs,” he said.
Up to 200 others remained outside the Warwick facility, protesting against what they said was the barbaric slaughter of sheep and pigs.
Brad King, from the activist group Farm Animal Rescue, was among those at the protest and said animals slaughtered at the site had endured terrifying deaths.
On Sunday, Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said he’d had a gutful of activists putting farms at risk.
He is drafting regulations that would allow police and agriculture ministers to slap protesters with on-the-spot fines.
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