Anti-lockdown protesters arrested in Victoria

Victoria Police arrest 16 anti-lockdown protesters, dispersing the small crowd that showed up for the third consecutive week of demonstrations.

Protesters run from Victoria Police following a protests in Elsternwick Park in Melbourne.

Protesters run from Victoria Police following a protests in Elsternwick Park in Melbourne. Source: AAP

Police have arrested 16 anti-lockdown protesters and slapped 21 with hefty fines while issuing a strong criticism of the "selfish few".

Up to 100 people held a rally in Melbourne's inner beachside suburb of Elwood on Saturday.

Victoria Police detain a protester near Elwood Beach.
Source: AAP

"We are frustrated that these people continue to put the lives of Victorians at risk," a police statement said on Saturday afternoon.

"While we know the majority of the community are doing the right thing, the behaviour of these selfish few who choose to blatantly ignore the directions will not be tolerated."

Demonstrators started at the State Library but cancelled their action and moved to Elsternwick Park where they were chased by police on horseback, AAP photographers reported.

Some ended up marching along Elwood Beach in a loose formation before they were again dispersed by police resulting in several arrests on Ormond Esplanade.

Some protesters marched along Elwood Beach in a loose formation before they were dispersed by police.
Source: AAP

Throughout the disjointed protest there was shouting about Premier Daniel Andrews and coronavirus restrictions.

There was "a lot of running and not much protesting" one photographer said.

Another described the exercise as "chaotic".

Some protesters continued to scatter through backstreets, even jumping fences into private property.

One arrested by police was filmed by Nine News telling officers: "Wake up, I know you already know this is wrong."

The majority of the arrests were for breaching health directions and refusing to provide name and address.

There are plans of another protest on Sunday.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 5am.

During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.

Between 5am and 9pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.

The full list of restrictions can be found here. All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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Published 19 September 2020 at 3:49pm, updated 20 September 2020 at 8:06am
Source: AAP - SBS