Arrests at Melbourne anti-lockdown rally

24 Octobre, 2020, 22:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

Legions of protesters faced off with mounted police in violent clashes in Melbourne amid rising tensions over the ongoing coronavirus lockdown in the city, which has lasted over 100 days.

In a statement Friday evening, Victoria Police said it was "extremely disappointed" in the behaviour of a large number of protesters who disregarded the health and safety of the community.

Numerous protesters refused to wear masks and cried out "Free Victoria", while some carried placards with messages like "Media is the virus", "Covid-19 is a scam", and "Wake up, Aussies".

Three officers were injured during the protest and one was taken to hospital.

While a tense stand-off erupted between protesters and police on Flinders Street, with demonstrators chanting "choose your side".

The out-of-control crowd has transformed into a rally, with protesters moving towards the Arts Centre while shouting "freedom".

An AAP photographer on the scene saw protesters damage a police auto, steal a policeman's hat and let off a flare.

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TV journalists have tweeted they have been harassed and yelled at by angry protestors as they attempted to speak on camera. "People Died", in reference to Premier of Victoria Dan Andrews.

Many held placards with slogans such as "Media is the virus", "COVID-19 is a scam" and "Wake up Aussies".

Regional Victoria's rolling average has fallen from 0.4 yesterday to 0.3.

This legislation was being cited during arrests, AAP's photographer said on Friday.

Mr Andrews urged protesters on Friday morning not to attend the Shrine because it was a sacred place for Victorians.

Melburnians are allowed to gather outside with a maximum of 10 people across two households. Protesters can be seen holding signs including, "End Lockdown Now", and "Dan Lied".

"Protests don't work against this virus and potentially put at risk all the good work we are doing", he said.

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