HUNDREDS of protesters opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates took to the streets of Port Macquarie on Saturday (November 27), joining other rallies held across the country.
Saturday's rallies, purportedly part of a global "freedom" movement, have been attended widely in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, as well as smaller towns and cities Australia-wide.
Read more: Thousands flock to anti-mandate protests
The demonstrators loosely comprise groups who oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates and Victoria's proposed pandemic laws.
Over the past two weekends, between 500 and 800 people have attended peaceful protests in Port Macquarie, according to attendee Ed Caruana.
Ed has been to both marches over the past two weekends.
"This is the first time I have protested against anything in my life," he said.
"I believe that it's your life and your choice to have a vaccination or not."
Ed said most people attending the marches in Port Macquarie are opposing vaccine mandates and that they also hold concerns for children getting the vaccine.
On Saturday, protesters held the Australian flag upside down to represent a signal of distress, while others waved the Eureka Stockade flag which has become a symbol of notion of the Australian 'fair go' and the right of the individual.
"There is very little logic to how the pandemic has been handled and there's a lack of compassion which has led to families being separated," Ed said.
"There is a lot of unnecessary division in society because of this.
"People are losing their jobs because of their choice to not get vaccinated."
The peaceful protest in Port Macquarie started in Westport Park with a small prayer and discussion before protesters walk along the breakwall to Town Green where they then dispersed.
"I just think that what's happening at the moment is not living, it's just existing," Ed said.
The Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccination rallies were organised for cities across the country.
In Sydney, police say about 10,000 protesters marched through the city centre to voice their concerns, while smaller demonstrations also took place at Newtown and Newcastle.
"There is another march planned for Port Macquarie this weekend," Ed said.
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