SYDNEY (AP) — More than 250 people who were protesting coronavirus lockdowns in Australia were arrested Saturday and many faced fines for defying health orders, authorities said.
At least seven police officers were treated for injuries after skirmishes broke out at some of the protests, which took place in multiple cities nationwide. The largest and most violent protest was in Melbourne. Many were organized by people in encrypted online chat groups.
Sydney has been in lockdown for two months, while Melbourne and the capital, Canberra, went into lockdown earlier this month. Under the rules of the lockdown, people are mostly confined to their homes and have limits placed on their social interactions.
Despite those measures, Sydney’s New South Wales state reported a record 825 new daily community infections on Saturday. Several cities are battling outbreaks of the highly contagious delta variant.
Protestors say the lockdowns should end, but authorities say they are necessary to suppress the spread of the virus and save lives.
In Melbourne, a crowd of about 4,000 mostly unmasked protesters let off flares, yelled and blasted music in the central city. Victoria state police arrested 218 people and issued more than 200 fines, each for more than 5,400 Australian dollars ($3,850).
Six Victoria state police officers were hospitalized and three people remained in custody for allegedly assaulting police. Officers used pepper spray on several people, saying in a statement they were left with no choice.
In New South Wales state, police said they arrested 47 people and fined more than 260 in relation to protests across the state. They also issued 137 tickets after stopping around 38,000 cars that were approaching the city.
New South Wales state police said a 32-year-old man who allegedly assaulted an officer was arrested and they expected to file charges. The officer was taken to an area hospital for head and neck injuries, authorities said.
New South Wales Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said police expected to identify more people through CCTV and social media footage.
More than 2,000 people also gathered in Brisbane City Botanic Gardens to rally against the lockdown and vaccine measures, although Queensland state police said they didn’t make any arrests.
“Wake up sheeple,” read one sign at the Brisbane protest.
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“Protestors say the lockdowns should end, but authorities say they are necessary to suppress the spread of the virus and save lives.”
I hope the Australian citizens will maintain their defiance. As bad as it is here, at least we do not have police enforcement of lockdowns—though the Liberals would certainly be in favor of it. This is why we have to push back.
“As bad as it is here, at least we do not have police enforcement of lockdowns”
I can certainly SEE THIS level of totalitarianism coming here.. AND THAT IS Scarring the hell out of me.
Ituser No worries
Well, till the left ELIMINATES the 2nd amendment, via all their forced gun buybacks schemes and the like.
Notice the number of officers dealing with this one guy. Just saying.
I hope to god, if WE DO Ever get that bad, WE HAVE JUST AS MANY americans willing to put it all on the line, to protest.!!
Australia is a great model for the Biden Administration, to keep us in our homes, under communist rule. The Biden Administration, Dr. Fauci and the CDC are great communists, aren’t they?
The cure (lockdowns) are worse than the disease! People are going crazy getting cabin fever! This damned virus is never going to go away! Like colds and the flu, we’ll have to live with it.
There are days, i honestly think that THIS IS Exactly what they planned to do, from the get go.. LOCK US DOWN so tight, that when resistance comes, THEY HAVE “justification” to use force on anyone ‘refusing’ to comply’…
all i can say is you got what you voted for australia.
AND this is why GIVING YOUR GUNS UP, was such a bloody bad idea.. WE TOLD THEM, but they refused to listen!
Sydney’s New South Wales state reported a record 825 new daily community infections on Saturday.
Or in other words .0001% of the population of New South Wales. OMG, Stay in your homes!… Unless of course you have Ebola, Herpes, RSV, Chicken Pox, Pneumonia, or the Flu. Then by all means go out and mingle.
I hope things like this wake people up, from their false belief that “THE MILITARY AND COPS will be on our side”…