12 February 2022

Lifeline shuts Bookfair amid deteriorating situation at EPIC

| Ian Bushnell
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Freedom Convoy to Canberra campers outside of Lifeline Bookfair at EPIC. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The Lifeline Bookfair will not open its doors today amid a deteriorating security situation at Exhibition Park where ‘freedom’ protesters have been camping.

Lifeline said safety was its top priority.

“We will keep you posted on our opening hours if we are able to open tomorrow,” it said.

The ‘Freedom Convoy to Canberra’ anti-vaccine mandate protesters who were moved on from the Patrick White Lawns next to the National Library have been camping at EPIC, but police announced yesterday that they would have to leave by Sunday to make way for preparations for the Canberra Show.

READ ALSO EPIC Farmers Markets cancelled; ‘Freedom’ protestors asked to leave EPIC by Sunday

Police had warned of more protests over the weekend, including at the AIS Vaccination Clinic and near Parliament, and that protester numbers were expected to swell.

ACT Policing said there was a significant influx of people at EPIC overnight, fences were moved and new camps were set up in non-camping areas.

“This unauthorised camping has taken up all service and parking areas allocated to the Lifeline Bookfair,” a spokesperson said.

Police are on scene and will continue to monitor the situation.

Police expect protest activity to continue today at locations across Canberra, particularly between EPIC and Parliament House.

They say drivers should avoid roads around EPIC all day and Northbourne Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue this morning as protesters move from EPIC to the Parliamentary Triangle.

“ACT Policing has allocated all available resources to manage this significant event and our priority remains the safety and security of all people in the ACT,” the spokesperson said.

The Capital Region Farmers Market at EPIC had already been cancelled due to “safety concerns and logistics for customers”.

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Peter Stanley5:18 pm 12 Feb 22

These anti-vaxxers disgust me. They are costing the Canberra community in all sorts of ways. Now they’ve closed down our charity book fair, i fringing our freedoms. They are anti-science, anti-rational, anti-knowledge, anti-democratic, anti-human decency – bat-**** crazy, Just bloody go home.

Vinson1Bernie3:17 pm 12 Feb 22

Lets not generalise about all the protesters though but it is terribly disappointing but every protest causes disruptions to someone. I recall the climate protesters who blocked the centre of Melbourne CBD who allowed emergency vehicles into the city as if this absolved them from criticism – – it didnt take into account of course the number of emergency vehicles blocked in peak hour traffic for kms outside the CBD

Such selfish visitors, wanting freedom only for themselves, not for the people who happen to live here, take advantage of our relatively disease-free territory to try to spread their own, but not many Canberrans are finding their dirtiness, rudeness, wilfull damage and infighting all that attractive.

Peter Montgomery1:28 pm 12 Feb 22

The self entitled privileged boofheads that have stopped the LifeLine book fair have revealed their true nature and moral bankruptcy

SmirkingNick3:42 pm 13 Feb 22

A cancelled book fair?

“Oh, the humanity!”

Please, it wasn’t as if they set fire to a historic building of enormous national significance causing millions of dollars in damage as well as irreparable destruction of key elements.

I think it’s disgusting that protesters can force the closure of Lifeline’s Book Fair.

If they have removed fences to enable more protesters to pitch their tents, there’s a fair chance they aren’t planning on leaving by Sunday I would think.

It’s time we got serious with these clowns.

Do the police need to start arresting people?

I was at the Lifeline bookfair for a few hours yesterday and there were no problems. Even parking was easy just across the road from the protesters, who were noisy and exuberant, but not aggro. There are thousands of people there and more still arriving as I left. A real diversity and cross section of ages and appearances too. Youth, tradies, oldies, alternatives and indeterminates. Obviously a lot of people are fed up to have made the trip from Qld, SA, Vic…. Good on them. This is going to be a very big protest event today.

Good on them for ruining local charity and business events as well as harassing locals?

We get it. You’ll excuse anything from these protesters because you agree with them.

Perhaps we should listen to this fellow when discussing the Extinction Rebellion protesters:

Acton says:

“These are just climate bullies, using intimidation tactics to impose their views on the best of us. They are no different from religious fanatics throughout history in their arrogant beliefs and chanting zealousness: ‘What do we want. When do we want it. Now.’ ‘Repent, repent, the end of the world is nigh!’”

Those who opposed tyrants, despots and mob rule gave us the rights we have today, including the right not to be bullied, harassed, intimidated, detained and importantly the right to hold alternative views. That is what a democracy is and what we all have to defend.”

Well said that man…..

Or this one:

Acton Says:

“The same Marxists with the same ideology and rhetoric hiding behind a new name to achieve the same old objectives of disrupting the lives and destroying the lifestyles of everyone else. They were chased off before and will be chased off again. Go occupy Wall Street.”

All true. You demonstrate credentials to become a good secretary or a good stalker.

Not really,
Your hypocrisy took all of 30 seconds to expose, so frequent and obvious it is.

When the social contract is torn up, we don’t get solidarity as people seek to re-establish it.
Instead the anger spills over until some populist demagogue rides it to fascism.
Beware the lie eating outriders of the infopocalypse.

Selfish idiots. The government is not Canberra! Farmers and the vulnerable will have to wait for their money. Can’t wait for tomorrow. Might go down there for some entertainment.

Agreed – except with the bit about going down there. Be a location to avoid until they are gone. Which will be soon – hopefully.

You will find they are almost all white, middle-class, well fed and financially secure (there are a lot of expensive motor vehicles there).

And you will find every slightly weird person you ever knew.

I they all looked like the homeless beggars we see around our shopping centers then I’d get worried.

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