More than 1,000 demonstrators turned out in full-force to protest against the lockdown as they swarmed in front of traffic in Richmond, in the Victorian capital’s inner suburbs, on Saturday.
Melbourne has spent 228 days in lockdown since since march 2020, and is set to notch up a grim world record for the most days spent under stay-at-home laws when it passes Buenos Aires on September 23.
In Sydney 32 were arrested and 265 fines handed out as 2,000 police swarmed the city, while in Byron Bay 11 people were arrested at a 250-strong street protest.
Thousands more protested against lockdown restrictions and mandatory Covid vaccinations at large rallies in Brisbane and Perth.
Some 2,000 officers were deployed at road checkpoints and barricades across Melbourne, and on roving patrols, to try to stop the rally going ahead in breach of public health orders.
Police arrested 235 people and while most were taken away for breaching health directions, some were charged with assault, riotous behaviour and weapons and drug offences. Each will be fined $5,452, with 193 infringements handed out so far.
Ten police were injured while dealing with the protests, with injuries including a broken elbow and broken nose, a broken finger and torn muscles. Six officers were taken to hospital.
Commander Mark Galliott said bottles and stones were thrown at officers while an authorised vehicle was severely damaged.
‘Angry aggressive young males (were) there to fight the police, not to protest about freedoms,’ he told the media late on Saturday.
Demonstrators met outside the Richmond Town Hall on Bridge Road at midday and were seen chanting ‘free our children’ and ‘you serve us’ before the protests turned violent.
Scenes escalated as the group reached Burnley Street, with police forced to deploy capsicum spray before arresting dozens of protesters as others taunted and hurled abuse at them.
Police dodged traffic cones, bottles, flares and smoke bombs after angry protesters hurled the items at the blockade.
Shocking footage captured the moment a mob of frenzied protesters broke burst through a police line while screaming ‘f*** you dogs’ and trampling on officers knocked to the ground.
At one point a group of protesters reportedly broke through the gate of an apartment complex as police moved in on them.
— David Estcourt (@davidestcourt) September 18, 2021
More videos and lots of pics here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10003495/Covid-19-Australia-Anti-lockdown-protests-erupt-Melbourne-Sydney.html