Melbourne anti-lockdown protesters arrested
Police have made several arrests in the Australian city of Melbourne, as hundreds protest against the city’s lockdown measures.
Earlier today it was unclear how many people would be attending protests, with some anti-lockdown groups shifting to online events ahead of the state government’s roadmap announcement tomorrow.
However hundreds of people gathered at Shrine of Remembrance in the city’s CBD this morning, despite warnings from health authorities.
About 300 protesters later walked from the shrine to Albert Park Lake, where police have been trying to manage the crowd.
Many of the protestors were not wearing masks. Some chanted “freedom”, while others shouted insults at the media.
Police officers on horseback met protesters at the shrine, and later near the lake, and the ABC has witnessed several arrests.
In a statement earlier today, Victoria Police said “it is very clear that people cannot leave their home to protest” under stage 4 restrictions.
“Participating in this proposed protest would be a serious and blatant breach of the Chief Health Officer’s directions and jeopardises the health of the entire community,” the statement said.
“We will have a strong, visible presence in and around the CBD.
“We are extremely well prepared to respond, and those thinking of still protesting in the city can expect a swift and firm response from police.
“We have no hesitation in issuing $1652 fines to anyone blatantly breaching the restrictions, as well as making arrests if necessary.”