Politics

Convoy to Canberra protesters gather outside Parliament House


The GoFundMe page has been set up by a user named Ironbark Thunderbolt, who has said the money would be withdrawn into the WA truck driver James Greer’s bank account, with transfers then being made directly to “people in need”.

A GoFundMe spokesperson said the company required “full transparency from the organiser about the flow of funds to ensure there’s a clear plan and donors are informed on how the funds will be spent.”

“We are continuing to work directly with the organiser to gather information about how funds are being distributed, this is part of our standard process to ensure the protection of all donors,” the spokesperson said.

“Once a withdrawal plan is provided by the organiser, our team is on standby to safely and quickly deliver the funds.”

The key demand of the protesters is to end vaccine mandates, however, some members of the crowd were also calling for an end to human trafficking.

One woman held up a sign in front of the police blockade reading “Reveal the paedophiles. All 28 ‘VIPs’.”

A sit-in also occurred in which protesters began to meditate.

Earlier on Monday several vehicles, including trucks, drove onto the lawn between Old Parliament House and Parliament House after police blocked off Federation Mall to prevent convoys from approaching the newer building.

A large group of people surrounded a police vehicle trying to intervene, with the crowd chanting “you serve us” as the 4WD eventually reversed.

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Tents and marquees have also been pitched next to vehicles on the lawn, as well as in and around an adjacent car park, with several groups expected to camp in the area overnight.

One of the campers, former Queensland truck driver Dale Beikoff, said he quit his job at a trucking company after vaccine mandates were imposed last year.

“Many people have lost their jobs,” Mr Beikoff said.

“We have nurses here who have been fired.”

An ACT Policing spokesman said no arrests were made during the day but some people who tried to set up unauthorised campsites in the area were moved on by police throughout the day.

“The community is reminded camping or parking vehicles is prohibited in the Parliamentary Triangle and on [National Capital Authority] managed land without a permit,” the spokesman said.

The confrontation comes weeks after protesters physically clashed with police at the entrance to Parliament House, an incident that followed a fire at the front of Old Parliament House, which resulted in a man being charged.

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