Footage of the wild scenes captured the moment Paul Dowsley was tackled and pushed into a bin by a protester while reporting from the thick of the turbulent mob in the city’s CBD.
A liquid believed to have been urine was also thrown at him – including into his mouth – and his cameraman.
The news veteran was attacked a second time a short time later while providing a live update of the rally, with a nearly full can of an energy drink thrown at him and striking the back of his head.
Relaying the incidents to Sunrise on Wednesday morning, Mr Dowsley was positive but said the back of his head had “seen better days” and was now bearing a bump and scratch from the attack.
He told hosts that to have been caught up in the “absolutely ugly scenes” unfolding on the streets “was so unexpected”.
“I’m there to try and find out what people are thinking and feeling, I want to report what they are saying, I want to report their cause and I hope to get some respect and to be treated in a way that was much better than that.
“What happened just simply came out of nowhere, on both occasions … didn’t see it coming.
“Such a cowardly way to behave.”
Asked whether protesters were deliberately targeting media personnel, Mr Dowsley confirmed “without doubt” it was the case.
“We were a key target along with police, they also targeted some motorists up on the West Gate,” he said.
“They simply believe we’re not reporting their cause and it’s hard to do that when they just shout at you when you try and talk to them.
“I tried to communicate with several of them and they just shout you down right up in your grill.
“Without doubt there’s been an enormous shift in terms of the mood towards the media, it’s from small groups.”
COMMUTER CHAOS: Protesters block several lanes causing widespread traffic
Mr Dousley said he had been able to communicate with some of the protesters who explained they were furious about the COVID-19 vaccine mandate to be enforced across the construction industry and fuelled by a two-week shut down of work sites across Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Mitchell Shire and the Surf Coast. 
He expressed his thanks to the many people who reached out and offered him support following the attacks, writing on Instagram he was “truly overwhelmed”. 
“I was there to hear and report their opinions, feelings and activities but some felt the best way to show their courage was by attacking me from behind and the side while I was live on air,” he wrote. 
“Disgusting acts which are unlikely to gather their cause sympathy from the community.” 

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