Controversial media figure Sam Newman once again found himself in the thick of debate over Victorian coronavirus by calling for a major anti-lockdown rally.
After a debilitating month of Stage 4 lockdown in the Victorian capital, the AFL great has urged 250,000 Melburnians to “take the city / state back.”
“Of all the protests that we have put up with, how about 1/4 million of us gather in the CBD to take the City/State back, before EVERY previous march will have been pointless,” Newman wrote on Twitter on Sunday night.
He was asked if Melburnians should attend a protest scheduled for Saturday in city.
“They probably shouldn’t but if the government acts responsibly, we will act responsibly and not go there,” Newman said.
“Just give us a bit of easing of the restrictions (otherwise) I might use my hour’s freedom and wear a mask and go into the city as part of my recreation and exercise and be part of the gathering.”
Newman also clarified that he was seeking to coordinate a protest on behalf of younger Melbourne residents whose lives were destroyed by the lockdown.
“I’m not doing it for me. I don’t go out a lot – I don’t go to venues or nightclubs. I do play golf when I’m allowed to but I’m just thinking about all my friends who are in business who are much younger than me and are going stir crazy,” Newman told the Herald Sun.
“All the states in Australia are living reasonably normal lives except us here. We’re paying the penalties for the actions of a few irresponsible people and an irresponsible government.”
“Why are you inciting a riot? Despicable shameful behaviour,” a follower wrote.
“Don’t you care about the health of your fellow melbournians (sic)? We don’t have long to go and we have a chance to kick this thing.”
“I have read your tweet three times and it’s still incomprehensible. But good luck with whatever self-indulgent, poorly conceived action you’re proposing,” wrote another.
Newman explained his comment by maintaining that he preferred to keep the demonstration orderly.
“There’ll be no rioting. No looting. No arson. No violence. Just an expression of desperation for our sanity.”
The 300-game AFL champion also announced there would be “too many to sue” in response to reports that Victoria Police would arrest demonstrators at his gathering.
Victoria Police have condemned Sam Newman ‘s conduct.