Victorian Police have arrested 15 people and issued over 150 infringement notices during Saturday’s anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne.
“Despite all the warnings, it was disappointing to see individuals turn out to protest in the city today, putting the lives of Victorians at risk,” Victorian Police said in a statement on social media.
“We responded to protests across the CBD, where approx 200 people attended the Shrine of Remembrance then Albert Park Lake.
“In total, we arrested 15 people and issued over 150 infringement notices for breaching the Chief Health Officer (CHO) directions. 14 of the arrests were for breaching the CHO directions, while one was for assaulting police.”
Police said they will continue to investigate the protest, and expect to issue further fines once the identity of individuals has been confirmed.
Police are forcing people back out of the shrine now pic.twitter.com/ihuLzxV5Mu— Zach Hope (@Zhope10) September 5, 2020
Public Order Response Unit and Mounted Branch have pushed angry anti-lockdown protesters down the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance— Aneeka Simonis (@AneekaSimonis) September 5, 2020
They are chanting “freedom” and calling for Premier Daniel Andrews to be removed #springst @theheraldsun pic.twitter.com/gCe1dQpxJr
Melbourne in 2020 pic.twitter.com/S4Z5l42I5R— Aneeka Simonis (@AneekaSimonis) September 5, 2020
Victorian Police have been widely criticized on social media for their apparent double-standard approach after Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said in relation to an earlier planned Black Lives Matter rally that the force “respects the right that everyone has to protest.”
What's the difference between a Black Lives Matter protest and an anti-lockdown protest? Ask Victorian Police. pic.twitter.com/YiGvYOa0lY— Caldron Pool (@CaldronPool) September 3, 2020