Ugly scenes erupted at an anti-lockdown protest in central Melbourne after demonstrators were surrounded by police.
Despite relaxing restrictions nearly a week ago in Melbourne, hundreds of residents frustrated by the nearly four-month lockout of COVID-19 gathered outside Victoria ‘s parliament on Tuesday.
Police gathered just after midday around the crowd.
In one arrest, after appearing to get into a scuffle with a protester, an officer falls to the ground.
There are also accounts of the deployment of capsicum spray on members of the crowd.
Melburnians are allowed to protest in groups of up to 10 under the new city laws, as long as they are within 25 km of home and socially distant.
— Cassie Zervos (@cassiezervos) November 3, 2020
“Everyone has a right to protest peacefully, as long as it is in accordance with the chief health officer directions and does not impact the rest of the community, who also have the right to go about their daily business,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.
“Anyone coming into the city in blatant breach of the directions, or looking to disrupt others, create conflict and incite violence can expect a very firm response from police.”