Well fuck: thousands of anti-lockdown and anti-vaxx protestors have now descended Swanston St in Melbourne, just as a similar rally is taking place in Sydney and Brisbane.
The protestors took to the CBD on Saturday, first gathering at Parliament, before making laps of the streets. Footage taken from the protest shows protestors chanting “freedom” and carrying signs.
To give a sense of the number of people at the anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne right. This is about six minutes of footage sped up showing the start of the crowd to the end walking down Bourke St. @theage @smh pic.twitter.com/uRWaWqZuIj
— Rachael Dexter (@rachael_dexter) July 24, 2021
Police soon formed a blockade around protestors at the corner of Flinders St and Swanston St where they hurled abuse at officers, yelling “you work for us” and “shut this government down” – according to the Herald Sun.
— Olivia Jenkins (@byoliviajenkins) July 24, 2021
As reported by The Age, at least three people were apprehended by police on Swanston street. Police also had one man in handcuffs and were taking down his details.
Six people were arrested by police at the Melbourne anti-lockdown protest, with four charged and bailed for offences including assault.
Earlier today, Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley asked Victorians to not attend the protest today and potentially undo all of Victoria’s hard work.
“Don’t do it. It’s not in your interest. It’s not in the interest of Victorians,” Foley said.
He also quoted leading immunologist Peter Doherty.
“I remember he said, ‘You’re either on the side of humanity or you’re not.’”
This comes after a similar ‘freedom’ protest is currently taking place in Sydney’s Inner-West. In video footage obtained by PEDESTRIAN.TV, protestors can be heard chanting “freedom!” with barely any masks in sight. It’s believed they walked through Chippendale, congregated at Victoria Park before heading for Town Hall or Circular Quay.
Well this sucks: anti-lockdown protesters from all over Sydney have staged a mass gathering in the Inner West. View few masks in sight, but plenty of COVID conspiracy t-shirts pic.twitter.com/4xEvR8olXN
— Zac Crellin (@zacrellin) July 24, 2021
Not only are these protests occurring in lockdown cities: Sydney and Melbourne. But another protest against lockdowns and vaccinations is currently underway in Brisbane, despite recording no new cases of COVID today.
According to the ABC, police estimate that 7,500 people gathered in the Botanic Gardens for the anti-lockdown protest. No arrests or fines have been made, but police say they will be reviewing all available footage to determine if any “clear breaches have occurred.”
Fingers crossed these protests don’t become superspreader events and remove all the hard work of those doing the right thing.