Anti-lockdown protesters storm Melbourne hours after Daniel Andrews’ announcement there was “chaos” on the streets of Melbourne overnight, just hours before the city entered its fifth lockdown, as angry protesters marched through the CBD.
Demonstrators called for an end to restrictions just hours after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the state would enter a five-day snap lockdown from midnight.
“We’ve got to do this, otherwise it will get away with us and we, as more than any other part of our nation knows, we don’t want this getting away from us and being locked down for months,” Mr. Andrews said.
Currently the state has 18 cases while at least 6500 residents have been forced into isolation as close contacts, with the state’s Department of Health announced new exposure sites overnight.
Maskless protesters display their anger
Protesters filled Melbourne’s CBD from around 7 pm to oppose the snap lockdown, in a city that has seen its fair share of Covid restrictions.
Signs read, “I have a choice” and “lockdown kills”, with many demonstrators not wearing face masks.
The reporter for 7 News Estelle Griepink posted footage of protesters chanting, “Sack Dan Andrews,” on the steps of Flinders Street Station while some commuters “walked past shaking their heads”. They marched from Flinders Street Station to Parliament House chanting “freedom” accompanied by a large police presence.
“We’ve spoken to plenty of people today who say they are frustrated but understand these measures are necessary,” Griepink said.
One protester on social media described lockdowns as “human rights abuses” and called it a “great turnout”, bragging there were a “couple thousand people here”, claiming they were “just regular everyday people who have had enough.
“I’ve got friends who are really frustrated and on the verge of their businesses going a really bad way2.
“As it stands at the moment so many people have lost their businesses, their homes, their families ripped apart.
“We pay the price.”
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In more footage, one speaker was heard yelling: “Here we go again. Once again, Daniel Andrews has jumped at his own shadow and thrown millions of people’s lives into chaos because he has no faith in his own contact tracers and no faith in our healthcare system. That’s the only possible explanation.”
Victoria Police told news.com.au no arrests or fines were issued. A flare that was lit during the protests was still being investigated with police saying they were “yet” to identify the person responsible for lighting it.