Australian police force group raises thousands to legally challenge Covid-19 vaccination mandate

Queensland police officers have set up a fundraising page, garnering money to hire a lawyer and challenge the mandating of vaccines for law enforcement employees. They say the new directive “infringes upon the right to freedom.”

The initiative, coming from “a group of concerned Queensland police officers and their families,” had raised over $45,000 by Saturday – twice as much as their initial goal.

Police officers, who claim the matter “is not pro- or anti- vaccine,” say they need the money to get legal help and work with a law practice to challenge a recently introduced measure to fight the spread of coronavirus. According to the newly implemented directive from the Queensland Police Service (QPS) Commissioner Katarina Carroll, “the entire workforce in all QPS workplaces within the next five months” must be subjected to vaccinations and be fully inoculated by January next year. 

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The disagreeing police officers said no employees in any private or public sector, not just within law enforcement, can be forced into medical interference. “It is a question of whether our employers on behalf of the government can authorize civil conscription and interfere with the relationship between a patient and their doctor by mandating a vaccine,” their statement said.

“Mandatory vaccination policy…infringes upon our rights to freedom and informed consent to a medical procedure,” it added, suggesting that Australian authorities are breaking the law by creating a situation “in which the individual is left with no real choice but compliance.”

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Some 700 donors supported the initiative to fight what some of them called a “draconian and totalitarian mandate.” However, others called on the police to get vaccinated: “You can be infectious, not realize it, pass it on and kill someone in the process… It is unacceptable for doctors, nurses, and other front line responders and should be a no brainer for the police,” a commenter wrote.

The official behind the controversial mandate, Commissioner Carroll, was aware of her employees’ protesting efforts, Australian ABC News reported. She was investigating both the organizers and contributors of the campaign, the media report said citing sources who suggested they could be charged with possible misconduct for misappropriating police imagery and publicly challenging a direction from the commissioner.

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©Patrick HAMILTON / AFP
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