Anti-Lockdown Protestors Arrested After Clashing With Police In Melbourne
Victoria Police have arrested a bunch of anti-lockdown protestors over the weekend.
Dozens of people gathered to rally against the state's Stage 4 lockdown restrictions, which they say are destroying people's livelihoods and the local economy.
The rules were introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after the state, particularly in Melbourne, saw a massive spike in the number of daily infections.
The protestors gathered in Melbourne's Broadmeadow on the weekend, with some donning Guy Fawkes masks, and marched through the streets.
Police swooped in to control the event and eventually arrested a 22-year-old man from Broadmeadows, an 18-year-old man from Broadmeadows and a 17-year-old boy from Craigieburn.
It's expected they will be fined $1,652 for breaking the Chief Health Officer's restrictions around social distancing.
Authorities are concerned this is a part of a growing wave of discontent in the city and fear there will be more protests this coming weekend.
One man has already been arrested and charged with encouraging people to attend an anti-lockdown rally this Saturday (September 5) and police allege he is one of the organisers of the event. Tens of thousands of people had clicked attending or were interested in the event after it went viral on social media.
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However last Friday, police swooped on the property of a 76-year-old man from Windsor and charged him with inciting others to breach the Chief Health Officer's directions by attending the protest.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said: "In this case, because we will be putting this matter before the court, that individual will be facing a penalty of up to $20,000. So it's a very serious offence.
"We will be taking further action over the course of the next week in the lead-up to the protest as we identify other organisers and will be taking action against them. We will be taking action against anyone who turns up on the day to participate."
Police have warned that anyone who is caught trying to encourage or incite others to attend a protest or a rally will be dealt with swiftly.
A police spokesperson told 7News: "Victoria Police expects to make further arrests over coming days in respect to individuals suspected of inciting illegal activity.
"Organising and participating in this protest would be a serious and blatant breach of the Chief Health Officer's directions and jeopardises the health of the entire community.Those still thinking of attending the CBD to protest can expect a swift and firm response from police."
You've been warned.
Featured Image Credit: 7News