FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A ‘Freedom March’ In Australia In February 2022?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show a “Freedom March” against COVID-19 restrictions in Australia in February 2022.

Verdict: False

The photo shows the Woodstock music festival in 1969, not a 2022 protest in Australia.

Fact Check:

Around 10,000 participants protested against COVID-19 restrictions in Canberra, Australia, over the weekend of Feb. 12, according to Reuters. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, though three people were arrested while others blocked roads, slowed traffic and caused a charity book fair to be canceled, the outlet reported.

Facebook users have been sharing an image of a massive crowd sprawled over a field, claiming it shows the demonstrators in Australia. Numerous vehicles and tents are visible in the photo.

“This is happening right now…in Australia!!1.5 Million showed up for a Freedom March,” reads one such post. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’?)

The picture does not show protesters or marchers in Australia in 2022. Rather, a reverse image search revealed the photo comes from the 1969 Woodstock music festival. It was taken by photographer Barry Z. Levine, according to Getty Images.

“Aerial view of the massive crowd in attendance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August 15 – 17 (and part of the 18th), 1969,” reads the caption of the photo.

Over 500,000 people attended the Woodstock music festival, according to History.com. The event is known for being part of the “counterculture movement” of the 1960s and saw famous musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan perform live on stage, the website reported.

Photos from Getty Images of the recent Canberra march show a much smaller crowd in completely different locations than the one depicted in the Facebook photo.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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