Australia’s streets are a shambles as police fire rubber bullets at anti-lockdown demonstrators.
THOUSANDS of Australians have flocked to Melbourne’s streets to protest the coronavirus quarantine.
Hundreds of anti-lockdown protestors were detained and seven officers were hospitalized in Melbourne and Sydney on Saturday, as the country recorded its highest-ever single-day increase in COVID-19 cases. In Melbourne, mounted police deployed pepper spray to disperse crowds of more than 4,000 people rushing into police lines, while in Sydney, a strong number of riot police prevented smaller groups of demonstrators from congregating. Protesters were pepper-sprayed, according to social media footage, and police were allegedly firing “rubber bullets.”
218 people were arrested in the state capital of Melbourne, according to Victoria state police.
For attacking police, they issued 236 penalties and detained three persons.
For violating public health orders, the arrested offenders risk fines of A$5,452 (£2,853) each.
New South Wales police said they charged 47 people with violating public health orders or resisting arrest, among other offenses, and handed more than 260 fines ranging from A$50 (£26) to $3,000. According to the police, roughly 250 people attended the protest in the city.
Sydney, Australia’s largest metropolis with a population of more than 5 million people, has been under strict lockdown for more than two months after an outbreak extended over internal borders and as far as New Zealand.
On Saturday, the great bulk of the 894 cases reported across Australia were discovered in Sydney, the epicenter of the Delta variant-fueled outbreak.
“Here in New South Wales, we are in a really dangerous situation,” stated state Health Minister Brad Hazzard. “There is no time for selfishness now; it is time to consider the larger community and your families.”
To restrict the number of people gathering at an unauthorised protest, police monitored Sydney’s streets and banned private and public transportation towards the city center.
After state Premier Daniel Andrews stretched a city lockdown to the entire state, a sizable throng managed to march in Melbourne, the country’s second-most populous city, and some battled with police.
People should stay away from the protest, according to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, who said it was “crazy to think that people would be that selfish and come and do this.”
Hundreds of others also peacefully demonstrated in Brisbane. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”