A video of police officers in Australia clashing with protesters on July 24 has been stripped of context on social media, where some users are claiming it shows “mobile task units” forcing COVID-19 vaccinations onto people.
Most iterations feature a TikTok clip by user (@allblackerrything), which is no longer available on the platform. In this version, a male voiceover can be heard saying: “This is in Sydney, Australia. They have a mobile task unit to vaccinate people that are fighting the vaccinations.” It also includes an on-screen text with the claim.
“People in Australia are being chased down and forced to take the jab. Don’t settle for this America. #FightBack Fire,” one user commented.
However, the footage has been falsely labelled. It shows police clashing with protestors in Sydney during an anti-lockdown protest that turned violent ( here ).
Reuters could not definitely identify the author of the footage. But an earlier version, without the male voiceover, was posted on Twitter here the early hours of July 24 (ET).
Around timestamp 00:08 of the clip, the female voice can be heard saying “this is Victoria Park in Broadway” and “The protest hasn’t started yet.” At no point in the clip does the woman claim police are forcing vaccinations on people.
The location can be corroborated on Google Street View ( bit.ly/2TTJcAJ , see post lamp and steel grating on the floor).
George Mitchell, reporter of the Sydney Morning Herald, also tweeted images from the scene here.
COVID-19 vaccinations remain voluntary for most of the population in Australia ( here ).
In late June, the country decided to make them mandatory for high-risk aged-care workers and employees in quarantine hotels. It also made them obligatory for Paralympic athletes heading to Tokyo because unvaccinated members on the team could pose a health risk ( here , here ).
On July 24, defying a statewide stay-at-home order, 3,500 mostly mask-less protesters clashed with police in downtown Sydney, decrying a month-long lockdown in what the state police minister said was the best case study of a super spreader event since the start of the pandemic.
Police arrested 57 people with more under investigation, facing hefty fines and penalties.
Reuters footage of the event can be viewed here.
False. Video shows police clashing with protesters at an anti-lockdown rally in Sydney, not “mobile task units” forcing COVID-19 vaccination.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.