Melbourne commuters have been thrown into chaos this morning, after vegan protestors blocked the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets in the city.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
A number of vans were parked in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic flow as a group of protestors – reported to be as many as 150 - ringed the intersection, further obstructing traffic flow. Commuters alighting at Flinders St to catch now-blocked trams have been heard heckling to protestors, but things have so far remained peaceful.
The action is believed to be one of eight protests targeting sites around the country, aimed at promoting an animal rights film.
‘We don’t want to be causing disruption but this is a climate emergency and an environmental emergency,’ protestor Kristin Leigh told The Age.
As well as blocking cars, eleven tram routes have been affected, with Yarra Trams advising commuters to use City Loop trains while the protest is ongoing.
Police are monitoring the protest, but so far there has been no obvious attempt to break it up.
‘It is understood protesters have blocked the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets using vehicles, which a small number have chained themselves to,’ confirmed a police spokesperson.
‘The safety of the community is our number one priority. Victoria Police respects people's right to protest peacefully but will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour or violence.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been more forthright in his condemnation, claiming the protest – one of many around the country recently – is a step too far.
‘It is shameful, it is un-Australian,’ he told 2GB. “’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.’