Wild scenes in Melbourne as 1,000 anti-lockdown protesters descend on the city and clash with police – as Daniel Andrews warns restrictions won’t end ‘until virus is defeated’
- Protesters have been arrested at Freedom Day rally in Melbourne on Saturday morning
- Hundreds turned up to ‘Freedom Day’ marches in the coronavirus-hit city – demanding an end to lockdown
- Alarming footage captured demonstrators lying on the ground while being taken away in handcuffs
The Bombshell — Daniel Andrews warns restrictions won’t end ‘until (the)virus is defeated’
The protests kicked off at the Shrine of Remembrance but coronavirus-deniers have since taken to the streets, stopping traffic near Albert Park.
One crowd faced off with police on horseback as the chant ‘Freedom’ rang out across the city while dozens were arrested.
Ralliers were warned a large police presence would be seen if they attended the protests which defy the city’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.
One man claimed he was going to see the dentist when confronted by police outside the Shrine of Remembrance.
Police later arrested the man and forced a face mask upon him, The Herald Sun reported.
officers in riot gear have since descended onto the streets as the protest continues to make its way across the city.
In the lead up to the march, many of the anti-lockdown movement’s most notorious members announced they would no longer attend.
James Bartolo was charged with incitement on Friday for allegedly encouraging his mass following to attend the rally.
Following his arrest, Bartolo told Nine News he would not be at the march.
‘I wanted people to not go to the protests, now, hopefully, (the) protest won’t go ahead, I hope you put that on,’ he said on Friday night.
‘It’s a trap because Daniel Andrews just wanted to blame the protest to extend the lockdown.’
One woman with a top reading: ‘Freedom’ was seen being dragged away by two police officers as she desperately tried to fight them off.
Despite the hundreds of protesters in attendance, they were no match for the army of police.
It’s believed around 200 people had gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance by Saturday morning, Nine News reported.
Police on horseback have since formed a line along the steps of the building with protesters reportedly throwing punches to break through.
The coronavirus-deniers armed with ‘end the lockdown’ signs and Australian flags have continued to make their way across the city into Albert Park.
One woman had her sign that read: ‘End the lockdown the people are suffering’ confiscated by police.
A woman without a mask is seen holding a sign that reads: ‘End the lockdown the people are suffering’ during Saturday’s protest
The large crowd which has reportedly grown into the thousands has even stopped traffic throughout Melbourne’s CBD.
Police helicopters are circling overhead keeping a watchful eye on the furious protesters below.
The dramatic march comes just one day before Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews reveals the ‘road map’ plan for the state out of lockdown.
Earlier leaked documents suggested the 8pm-5am curfew and tough restrictions on businesses would continue for another two weeks.
According to the leaked documents, residents will be given the luxury of two hours of exercise a day, which can be split into two sessions, from September 14 – the official date Stage Four comes to an end.
The report stated that from September 28, up to five people, including children, from up to two households will be allowed to meet outdoors for social interaction.
Permits will no longer be required for childcare and in-home childminding, according to the document.
Outdoor personal training would be allowed for up to two people per trainer and outdoor pools will open for exercise for up to 20 people at a time.
Meanwhile in northern NSW, protests have spiralled out of control in Byron Bay.