UPDATE: Since publishing this story, a number of fights have reportedly broken out near Town Hall with quite a few arrests being made. Infamous TikToker Jon-Bernard Kairouz was also spotted at the protest and calling himself the “People’s Premier”.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, police have arrested 57 protesters and there have been 400 police officers involved in managing the protest.
Speaking with PEDESTRIAN.TV, a NSW Police spokesperson said: “We won’t have an update on anything protest-related until a bit later this afternoon as the operation is still ongoing.”
“But there will likely be a press conference that will address everything.”
ORIGINAL: Hundreds of mostly maskless idiots have gathered in Sydney’s Inner-West to protest against the Greater Sydney lockdown, the very same day that NSW records 163 local cases, 45 of which were infectious in the community. Read the fkn room, you COVID-hungry baboons.
In videos taken from PEDESTRIAN.TV’s own Zac Crellin, protestors can be heard chanting “freedom!” It’s believed they walked through Chippendale, congregated at Victoria Park on Broadway, and are now heading towards the direction of Town Hall or Circular Quay.
The anti-lockdown protest in Sydney way bigger than it looks in my videos. There’s heaps and heaps of people, quite a few of whom broke off into different groups. They’ve now regrouped at Victoria Park pic.twitter.com/8KXwdh4Xm8
— Zac Crellin (@zacrellin) July 24, 2021
Protesters chanting “freedom” have clashed with police in a suburban street in Chippendale, as part of anti-lockdown protests planned in Sydney. @australian pic.twitter.com/r3TXix1SVo
— Rhiannon Down (@rhi_down) July 24, 2021
— John Ruddick MLC (@JohnRuddick2) July 24, 2021
Actual mostly peaceful anti lockdown protests going on in the heart of Sydney right now! pic.twitter.com/RHAkZZL8aL
— $donatus ☦️🇷🇸 (@TheRealDonatus) July 24, 2021
Speaking at today’s COVID-19 press conference, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard reportedly sighed and described the protest as “really silly.”
“We live in a democracy and normally I am certainly one who supports people’s right to protest, but I actually think it is really silly,” Hazzard told reporters.
“At the present time we’ve got cases going through the roof, and we have people thinking that it’s OK to get out there and possibly be close to each other at a demonstration. I just think that’s a bit silly.”
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys added: “New South Wales Police are in a position where they will try and work with the organisers and the specific group leaders to make sure that they comply with the public health orders, and in fact we don’t get a situation where we end up with a spreading event in Sydney which would, of course, be disastrous.
“There is a specific police operation around the protest and the events, and we want to work with the organisers and those people who are leading specific groups into the city or other places to make sure that it’s not an event that we regret.”
Per Crellin, a handful of arrests have been made so far. It’s likely there will be a spike in the number of Personal Infringement Notices issued in the last 24 hours at tomorrow’s NSW Covid-19 press conference.
Earlier today, NSW Health recorded 163 local cases as Minister Hazzard begged other states to offer some of their supply of the Pfizer vaccine to NSW.
A distressing number of this week’s cases have been infectious in the community during their transmissible period. So, why the fuck are people protesting right now? I agree with Hazza on this one: deep sigh.