Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has hit out at anti-lockdown campaigners who carried out a ‘Give Dan The Boot’ protest in front of a farm shed where his father’s funeral was held four years ago.
Victorians protesting the state’s strict social distancing restrictions during its horrific COVID-19 second wave placed boots in front of their homes on Sunday to show their support for giving their embattled premier ‘the boot’ from office.
But Mr Andrews took exception to one protester who shared a photo of a pair of boots outside his family’s Old Kentucky Farm in Londrigan in Victoria’s far-northeast.
The premier had carried the coffin of his father Bob Andrews – a cattle farmer – out of funeral in April 2016 and wept openly as he told the congregation he was his ‘father’s son’.
‘The last time I was in that shed, was when I carried my father’s coffin out of it, and I think that is… I won’t use the words that my father would use to describe that sort of act,’ Mr Andrews said on Tuesday when asked about the photo.
A protester taking part in the ‘Give Dan The Boot’ protest shared a photo of a pair of boots outside the farm shed where the funeral of Premier Daniel Andrews’s father Bob was held. Mr Andrews on Tuesday said the person who made that protest should feel ‘shame’
‘That’s just low – it’s low.’
‘Having different views to me, that’s fine. It’s a healthy part of our democratic society. But decency matters too.
‘Leave my family out of it, and particularly the dead members of my family out of it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Shame, shame on him, shame.’
The legal silent protest took place across Melbourne and regional parts of the state as hundreds of protesters clashed with police for a second consecutive day in the CBD.
More than 3,000 initially registered their participation in Sunday’s Give Dan The Boot at-home protest when it was organised earlier in the week.
By Sunday, that number grew to 20,000 as Melburnians and other Victorians flooded social media with photos of shoes placed outside their front doors in protest of the Premier’s handling of the state’s horror second coronavirus wave.
Boots and shoes of all types, styles, sizes and colours were on display outside front doors, on letterboxes and driveways and even tied to front gates and fences, along with handwritten ‘Give Dan the boot’ signs.
Mr Andrews celebrates with his father Bob after winning the Victorian state election in November 2014. The premier had wept openly and spoke of being his ‘father’s son’ at the 2016 funeral
‘The last time I was in that shed, was when I carried my father’s coffin out of it,’ Mr Andrews said on Tuesday when asked about the photo. ‘That’s just low – it’s low’
A woman also put out her dolls’ footwear while one man tied his work boots to the garbage bin.
‘That’s where you belong,’ he wrote as the hashtag #givedantheboot started trending on social media.
One woman said the at-home protest was the first time she’d been involved in anything political.
This family in Melbourne’s north-east lined up their boots in a row and made a sign expressing their frustrations with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
Another woman wrote: ‘Dan deserved the boot six months ago, for negligence, double standards, lies and arrogance. Remember you were appointed by the people for the people, not to hide your mammoth mistakes during this pandemic.’
Victorian Liberal MPs Richard Riordan and Beverley McArthur jumped at another opportunity to take a stand against the Premier.
The mass protest was organised earlier in the week by Victoria Forward, the group run by 19-year-old Donald Trump supporter and Liberal member Edward Bourke.
This Melbourne family of five sick of lockdown lined up their boots in the family driveway
‘It’s time to stand up to Daniel Andrews, and now you can do it from home!’ the Facebook event reads.
‘Please place a pair of boots or shoes at your front gate or around your fence this Sunday, 13th of September and post a photo to this event or use the tag #GiveDanTheBoot.
The group stressed that no COVID-19 restrictions would be breached.