Pauline Hanson throws her support behind construction workers refusing mandatory vaccines

Catie McLeodNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson has thrown her support behind construction workers who refuse mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations and appears to have likened their cause to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The controversial Queensland senator posted “BUILDING LIVES MATTER” on her public Twitter and Facebook accounts on Wednesday night, in an apparent attempt at irony.

“One Nation stands with construction workers fighting for freedom of choice!” she wrote.

Senator Hanson is the right-wing populist party’s founder and leader.

NSW One Nation upper house MP Mark Latham shared the same message on his own Twitter account.

It is not the first time Senator Hanson has tried to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement, which sprung up in response to police brutality and racially motivated violence.

Nor is it the first time she has railed against mandatory vaccinations.

Health experts have previously slammed Senator Hanson for making false claims about vaccines and bizarrely claiming it was a person’s right to choose to catch Covid-19 and die.

Senator Hanson has also claimed governments were using lockdowns as a “bullying tactic” to coerce people into getting the jab.

Upper Hunter by Election
Camera IconOne Nation leader Pauline Hanson has thrown her support behind construction workers who oppose mandatory vaccinations. NCA NewsWire/Peter Lorimer. Credit: News Corp Australia

Liberal senator Amanda Stoker also raised eyebrows for her response to the chaotic protests.

The assistant Attorney-General said she condemned all forms of violence.

“Violence is never okay. Throwing items at journalists, assaulting people, and kicking animals is never okay. We have a right to peaceful protest in this country, but not a right to be thugs in the streets,” she told the ABC.

But Senator Stoker said the illegal rallies, where unruly protesters stormed the Shrine of Remembrance, reflected lockdowns and heavy-handed approaches.

She also said she didn’t support mandatory vaccinations for tradies, claiming construction was not a “truly high risk” workplace.

Melbourne has been rocked by three days of violent protests, in which crowds of angry construction workers, anti-vaxxers and members of other fringe groups have clashed with police.

The protests started on Monday outside the CFMEU construction union headquarters, where tradies voiced their frustration with mandatory vaccines and other government-imposed coronavirus regulations.

Union leaders have been swift to condemn the protests and separate them from the union movement, with some saying the protests have been hijacked by right-wing extremists.

The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 in response to police killing African-Americans in the United States.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year sparked an international reckoning with racism and racial violence that reached Australia.

Mass rallies were staged at cities and towns across the country in June 2020, calling for justice for the deaths of Indigenous people in police custody.

Those protests were held while many Australians were still under the first set of coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

Last year, Senator Hanson tried to put forward an inflammatory “all lives matter” motion in federal parliament.

But most coalition members joined with Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers to vote against her attempt to pursue the matter.

Originally published as Pauline Hanson throws her support behind construction workers refusing mandatory vaccines

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