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Victorians Protest Draconian Lockdown Restrictions

    Protestors clash with police at freedom rally September 5, 2020 12:30PM

    Police are out in full force in Victoria today, arresting and forcing masks on anti-lockdown protesters at key Melbourne landmarks.

    A number of dramatic arrests have occurred at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, where an anti-lockdown protest is set to take place today. 

    A woman has been taken to Melbourne West police station, while a maskless man – who repeatedly called police “Nazi dogs” – was arrested at the Shrine, which has been saturated with police this morning. 

    Other footage showed police putting a mask on a man before arresting him. 

    Authorities have threatened to throw the book at anyone who attempts to gather for the “Freedom Rally”, warning of hefty fines and arrests. 

    “Our aim is to prevent you from coming into the city,” Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said, having previously called conspiracy theorists “batshit crazy” and the “tinfoil hat brigade”. 

    “We will be out there in the suburbs. We will be on the road, on public transport. You can expect the police will want to speak to you, want you to explain your permitted reason for leaving (to go to) the city.” 

    The Premier has slammed anti-lockdown demonstrators intending to protest across Melbourne today, calling their behaviour “absolutely selfish”, as Victoria recorded 76 new coronavirus infections and 11 deaths overnight.

    “It is not safe, it is not smart, it is not law. In fact, it is absolutely selfish for people to be out there protesting,” Daniel Andrews told reporters.

    “The only protest we should be engaged in, the only argument, the only fight we should be engaged in is against this virus.

    “Let’s not any of us do anything that might jeopardise this strategy stopping, let’s not any of us do anything that might see more coronavirus cases rather than less. That is just not worth it.”

    Follow our live coronavirus coverage below. 

    Live Updates

    11m agoSeptember 5, 2020Highlight

    Police have ‘little chance’ of gaining control of protest

    Natalie Brown

    Police helicopters are reportedly circling overhead as thousands of anti-lockdown protesters descend on Albert Park in Melbourne.

    As mentioned just before, a number of demonstrators were arrested at the Shrine of Remembrance earlier this morning.

    The group, which the Herald Sun’s Aneeka Simonis tweeted has “swelled into the thousands and is stopping CBD traffic”, are now walking around Albert Park as they continue their Freedom Day rally.

    Arrests taking place at anti-lockdown protests

    Natalie Brown

    Police have made a number of arrests and issued multiple fines to anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne.

    Thousands of demonstrators have abandoned the Shrine of Remembrance and are reportedly marching down St Kilda Rd.

    Among those arrested are a man in a full body hazmat suit (sans mask ,though), who attempted to protest outside Parliament House with his wife.

    Pictures: David Crosling

    Officers placed a face mask over his mouth after they arrested him, to which he said, “A muzzle, they’re gagging me”, the Herald Sunreports.

    “I have a declaration right here from 10 or 12 doctors that was presented to Daniel Andrews they voted only a few days ago that coronavirus was a sham,” he was heard telling police as he was led away.

    A woman at the Shrine was also arrested ahead of the planned protest, and was handcuffed by police and was seen crying as she was questioned.

    Picture: David Crosling

    Those fined (so far) include two maskless women, who claimed to be at the memorial to lay flowers.

    Another man, who’d taken off his mask to confront officers and tell him he was going to the dentist, was arrested and a mask was forced back onto his face.

    A bald woman and an elderly man were also placed in handcuffs before 10:30am, while two women – one wearing a literal tin foil hat – were fined for breaching COVID-19 orders.

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