Boy oh boy are there a lot of cops out on the roads leading in to Melbourne CBD this morning. Saw two big roadblocks on a short bike around the outskirts this morning #Melbourne #melbourneprotest. Livestreams from #sydneylockdown #sydneyprotest also showing heavy police presence.
Some protesters have suggested using Waze to mark police presence for each other.
The plan in Melbourne seems to be to walk in from nearby places like Richmond or South Yarra.
Rumours that cops have already started arresting people in Melbourne, but I'm unable to confirm whether this is true or not.
These roadblocks seem to be really throwing a spanner in the works for both cities. People trying to get in, people trying to find a place to park where they won't get a ticket. They are also sharing mainstream media coverage of the protests to see where cops are.
I reckon this is going to be very small and very messy. Seems like a few people in both cities have managed to make it INTO the CBD, but they're not sure what to do from this point unless a ton more people suddenly arrive. They're afraid of being individually picked off.
Sorry, into the CBD in Melbourne's case and near Victoria Park in Sydney's case.
Yeesh, someone in one of the Western Sydney protest Telegram channels just shared a GhostEzra post into the channel. GhostEzra is the most overtly neo-Nazi of the QAnon influencers, coincidentally ID'd yesterday by @LogicallyAI as a dude in Florida…
Protesters in Sydney being picked off one by one on the way into Victoria Park. In Melbourne, sounds like they're just milling around the CBD looking for one another.
Arrest of a woman in Sydney: "You're under arrest." "You're not arresting me! What? No!"
They can't arrest her because she pays taxes, apparently.

"I've done nothing wrong! I'm a taxpayer! I help this nation to grow and prosper!" (this is not a joke, it is a verbatim quote)
Arrest in Melbourne, also shouting at the cops.
Seems like they have managed to get a solid group into the Melbourne CBD, got their music going, lots of "FREEEEEEEEDDOOOOOOOMMMM!!!"
I had not actually seen the banner when I typed that.
Not spotting a lot of cops in these streams as yet. Hard to say exactly how many, but maybe a couple hundred protesters?
Meanwhile in Sydney, definitely more cops and media than protesters.
Sydney was a bit of a wash, it seems, but the #Melbourneprotest is looking pretty substantial unfortunately
There's our mate with the Gadsden flag again, looks like he miiiight be the same guy from last time
In the words of a Telegram user, "cops aren't doing shit" in #Melbourneprotest
Wow. There really are a lot of people there. Fingers crossed for #melbournelockdown that none of this lot have Covid. #Melbourneprotest
Seems like the cops are trying to keep the crowd to a particular route, blocking off other streets, but they're not doing more than standing there at this point.
Checking in on #sydneyprotests, still more cops than protesters.
Back in #Melbourneprotest, cops and protester lines are squaring off a bit, looks like at least a couple of arrests
And a BIG rush on the police line, protesters smashed through it, something being sprayed by cops (pepper spray?)
Flares going, cops lining up the horses, they've split protesters into two
This is getting pretty messy. There's the riot cops and a bunch of edgy looking guys eyeing them off.
Apparently the plan for Sydney is they're going to Parramatta now #sydneyprotests
#Melbourneprotest split into several groups now, but still a lot of people out
It's striking how many people have brought kids, even really little kids to this protest.
Protesters just walked past a line of people queuing up to get vaccinated. Lots of jeering, but I didn't see anyone mess with them directly. #Melbourneprotest back at Bourke St Mall now and is still pretty big.
I was too slow to screencap it but someone has put a sign saying '911 Missing Links' on the windshield of an (empty) police car.
Looks like some people managed to break out of the other group which the cops tried to kettle near Parliament and rejoin the crowd.
Really not clear what the police's plan is here. Cops turned the crowd back at Parliament, but now the crowd's just wandering around the city pretty much as they please.
Possibly thousands of people having a delightful day out at #Melbourneprotest

More flares
Crowd debating whether to try to crash through and confront police lines at Flinders St station. This chick in particular encouraging people to take on the cops.
Getting really tense now.
Really intense stand-off developing. Seems like it's a bit of a knife-edge moment, it would not take much at all to set this situation off. #Melbourneprotest
Cops are shooting the crowd with rubber pellets
Couple of women protesters are standing in front of the cops trying to talk the other protesters down. Lots of chants of "Nazis" and "you serve us"
Crowd backed down after cops pulled out the rubber rounds and a whole whack of pepper spray. The crowd was also throwing stuff at the cops, but now have turned around
Still a BIG group who are out though.
There's a Eureka flag.

Sort of seems like the plan for the cops is to protect key spots like Parliament and Flinders Station, and otherwise just to let the crowd... wander around until they get bored and go home?
People on Telegram claiming the ones leading that tense stand-off at Flinders earlier are plants. That kind of paranoia about the most aggressive ones being agent provocateurs is something which comes up in a lot of protests and is (almost) never true.
Solid possibility that by the end of the day someone will be claiming based on absolutely nothing that they were Antifa infiltrators, as happened with the Jan 6 riots.
I'm wondering about these banners which look like they were made in the same arts and crafts session. Might all be the same group of people, but apparently someone managed to smuggle in a van full of signs and was distributing them so that might be where these are from.
#sydneyprotests backup plan for Parramatta has disintegrated like soggy cardboard, they're apparently giving up and going home.
#Melbourneprotest at Vic Markets now, one group mostly just milling around, looks like the cops attempted to kettle a few people off but most of the crowd is being left alone.
Actually I take that back, looks like cops are pushing them back into the CBD. A few people in the crowd throwing what look like glass bottles at the cops but they're turning.
Cops moving in at a run now
Organisers are telling the protesters over Telegram to disperse now. Hilariously, the response from some protesters is suspicion that the channel has been compromised.
Also lost a lot of the livestreams, so I'm going to wrap this thread up here.

Today was a really shockingly large turnout, as was the failure of the police to control the protests for most of it. #Melbourneprotest will consider today a huge success, unfortunately.
Protests are performative. That's literally the whole point. It's performing to the govt, to each other, but today it's also about performing to much bigger online audiences. The videos and images from today are what they'll take away from this and use as propaganda.
And unfortunately, this was quite a show.
Did I fork my own thread? Yes. Yes I did.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Elise Thomas

Elise Thomas Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @elisethoma5

30 Apr
I made a little GIF to show how Amazon's search auto-complete recommends conspiracy theories. If you select the Books category, type 'election' into the search bar and add a space, the one and only suggestion is 'election fraud'
Similarly, in the Kindle category, typing in just 'vaccines' results in being recommended anti-vax auto-complete suggestions.
Anyone searching for 'covid' in the Kindle category will also be recommended a bunch of conspiracy theories as auto-complete suggestions, from anti-vax to the Great Reset conspiracy theory.
Read 4 tweets
29 Apr
What happens when you take an algorithm designed to up-sell customers on gym equipment and gardening tools, and apply it to conspiracy theories, disinformation and white nationalism?

Spoiler: it's not good. Here's the latest from me with @ISDglobal.…
For this research, I took a look at how Amazon recommends other books to users who visit a book landing page, for example the 'Customers who bought this item also bought' and 'Customers who viewed this item also viewed' panes.
To be clear, this is not a quantitative piece of research. It's intended as a qualitative walk-through to illustrate the issue, like kind of a Spotters Guide to Problematic Algorithms.
Read 13 tweets
13 Apr
I've written a lot of weird stories, but this one with @bellingcat takes the cake. A loose thread turned into a tangled web, looping in Libyan money in Ghana, border-hopping in Montenegro, Russian lobbyists and some unexpected familiar faces…
This story started with one of the biggest double takes I've ever done. Scrolling through the site of a French human rights organisation, I came across 'Robert Comune', 'Pakolov Zbishik' and 'Wacław Kozakiewicz'. #Auspol Twitter users may also be double-taking right now.
In reality, 'Robert', 'Pakolov' and 'Wacław' are in fact current and former Australian politicians Scott Ludlam, Bob Brown and Adam Bandt.
Read 13 tweets
17 Feb
Trying to share an ABC article via the URL
Trying to share an NYT article via URL
Trying to share an Infowars article, get the fact-check pop-up and then blocked
Read 13 tweets
7 Jan
For me, the striking thing about so many of these images of rioters in the Capitol is that what they're doing - all of them - is creating content for social media.

At least in their minds, the true seat of power is not actually in that building. It's online.
Politics is always performative, but the nature of the performance has changed dramatically in just a few years. What we saw today was the sudden, violent disruption of one performance, the certification of electoral college votes, for another, wilder show.
They could have done anything in that building today. What they did, by and large, was take selfies and create social media content. That was what really mattered to them. Whatever higher motives they might claim, their actions suggest that was the real motive for many of them.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
Twitter users openly calling for the 'day of the rope', a white supremacist fantasy ImageImageImageImage
That noose is made from camera wire. The Turner Diaries specifically references hanging journalists.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!