Several hundred mostly maskless idiots are protesting in the streets of Melbourne because apparently, people haven’t learned from the last time this all happened.
Today’s anti-lockdown protest reportedly started from Parliament House and moved its way into the Melbourne CBD towards Flinders Street Station. Protesters clashed with a police line near Melbourne Princess Theatre and at Flinders Street station, with police blocking parts of the area to lead protestors down the latter.
Just like the Sydney protests from July, live-stream footage from the event showed many were seen not wearing a mask and holding signs calling for an end to lockdowns. Protesters were also heard chanting “you serve us” to the police.
It’s unclear just how many people attended today’s anti-lockdown protest or how many arrests Victoria Police made, but these videos give a good sense of scale. Spoilers: it’s pretty huge.
— Suzan Delibasic (@suzandelibasic) August 21, 2021
— C h r i s 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️ 🌏 🌲 #VoteYes 🖤💛❤️ (@ChrisHeHim1) August 21, 2021
— Rachael Dexter (@rachael_dexter) August 21, 2021
In footage taken from the event, hundreds are seen chanting “freedom”, closely walking together without a face mask, and with few holding flares or Australian flags. While a majority of protesters were reportedly peaceful, some violently interacted with police, throwing glass bottles and flares.
In this video, you can see a police officer knocked to the ground at today’s protest in Melbourne. pic.twitter.com/HLBpcJwRB9
— Eden Gillespie (@edengillespie) August 21, 2021
In response, at the Flinders Street station police line, officers fired what appeared to be rubber pellets into the ground and pepper-sprayed protestors.
One poster from the protest compared Victoria Premier Dan Andrews to North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. Because, of course, lockdowns are synonymous with committing war crimes, right? Deep sigh.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this protest may lead to more cases in the next two weeks, thereby extending lockdown further. Truly, the best way out of all this is to get vaccinated, get tested, and stay TF at home.
Up to thousands of Melburnians previously took to the streets to protest the sixth lockdown announced earlier this month. It was originally intended to be a seven-day snap one but was extended after rising cases of community transmission.
A similar protest is reportedly happening in Sydney today, with NSW Police shutting down all public transport and roads into the CBD until 3PM. As of publishing, it appears that the protet there hasn’t reached the same scale as Melbourne’s but is still going ahead.
Multiple people being arrested. pic.twitter.com/0tpOPW4O5U
— Josh Bavas (@JoshBavas) August 21, 2021
Victoria Police have yet to publicly comment on today’s protest. It comes after the Victorian Government announced a strict curfew in Metro Melbourne, as well as a regional Victoria lockdown till 2 September.
All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.
Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.