Victoria Police Arrested 74 People During The Anti-Lockdown Protest At Queen Victoria Market

Victoria Police arrested 74 people at today’s anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne, and dished out a further 176 infringement notices (totaling over $280,000) to other protesters for flouting lockdown restrictions.

The alleged organiser of the protest, a 44-year-old man, is still in police custody and is expected to be charged with incitement.

“It was extremely disappointing to see people not just protesting, but putting the lives of other Victorians at risk despite all the warnings,” a spokesperson for Victoria Police said in a statement.

“Our investigations into this protest will continue, and we expect to issue further fines once the identity of individuals has been confirmed.”

Before midday, around 250 protesters descended upon Queen Victoria Market. Police then marched through the market with riot shields, forcing people to disperse.

After almost an hour, police circled about 50 protesters on Peel St. They also appeared to chase down protesters on horseback through the nearby streets.

Premier Daniel Andrews later said police did “a good job” and slammed the protesters for gathering in the middle of a pandemic.

“Protesting is selfish, protesting is stupid and protesting is dangerous [during the pandemic], and if you do it, you will be dealt with,” he said.

The arrests are the latest case of police squashing anti-lockdown protesters in Australia, and the second incident this weekend alone.

“Anyone thinking of attending a protest can expect the same swift and firm response from police as has consistently occurred in relation to such behaviour,” the police spokesperson added.

While the daily number of confirmed cases is finally on the downtick in Victoria, the second wave isn’t yet over with 1,157 coronavirus cases still active across the state.

That makes it completely unsafe and irresponsible to organise a mass gathering in public.

On the other hand, sending in riot police to disperse unarmed protesters in the middle of a busy market won’t do anything to shake the Dictator Dan image that protesters keep talking about, either.