Despite a major police operation across the Sydney CBD, nobody showed up to the allegedly planned anti-lockdown protest today. Maybe the maskless buffoons aren’t such buffoons after all?
NSW Police were expecting another anti-lockdown protest today similar to last weekend’s turnout this morning. Instead, they were met with a ghost town.
More than 1000 police officers were out enforcing stay-at-home orders in the Greater Sydney area today. According to the ABC, police roamed suburban train stations to stop people from heading into the CBD, and dozens of officers from the riot squad and mounted police force were deployed at Hyde Park and Town Hall. NSW Police also issued a notice to all taxi and ride-sharing services to avoid the Sydney CBD area from 9am to 3pm.
Everything seeming very chill in Newtown today pic.twitter.com/alDOqLhaWl— ben ! (@b3nfreeman) July 31, 2021
Police checkpoints stopping traffic on major routes into Sydney ahead of planned anti-lockdown protest. Cabs, Ubers prohibited from rides into the city. More than 1000 officers have been deployed. pic.twitter.com/VFPk4BX30L— nathan stitt (@nathanjstitt) July 31, 2021
People in large groups were reportedly stopped and questioned as a precaution and the NSW Police dog squad was employed. But, as a helicopter circling Hyde Park saw, there wasn’t anyone protesting in the streets, just passing joggers and city locals.
While last week’s protest was inspired by a German-based conspiracy group, ABC said they were not related to today’s planned protest. In fact, the outlet said that several key organisers of the last protest warned their followers against this weekend’s event.
According to a digital flier listing a number of protests that were planned to go ahead across the country, today’s planned protests may be actually intended to run tomorrow. Based on an image listing a number of the protest locations, it is believed that the planned protests were actually intended to occur tomorrow. Organisers note that the events are held “every Sunday” from 10 to 11am.
Instead of signs of anti-vax and anti-mask messaging, a sign at Newtown’s Camperdown Memorial Park aimed at the so-called protestors simply read: “You give protesting a bad name.”
In a statement shared today in the lead up to the planned protest, Central Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said: “A pandemic is not the time to protest and this prohibition notice is just one of the tools police have implemented today to ensure the safety of the community.
“These restrictions have been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect those most vulnerable in our communities from harm.”
NSW Police has yet to make a statement regarding the result of today’s police operation.