Coronavirus: Victoria's politiechef 'absoluut bezorgd' over anti-lockdown demonstranten in de Australische staataugustus 27, 2020
Four men have been arrested in Australia and almost A$15,000 ($16,370) in fines issued after large groups of anti-lockdown protesters gathered and marched through the streets of a Melbourne suburb in the state of Victoria overnight.
Police were called to George Andrews Reserve in Dandenong after close to 100 people – mainly young men – spread through nearby streets, before clashing with police during the recurring stage four lockdown protest which flared on Wednesday afternoon.
A group has protested in the same area each weeknight this week, according to police chief Shane Patton who said a larger group of police would be mobilised to the area on Thursday evening if the group gathered again.
In one piece of footage, protesters scream “f…off” and call officers “f…ing dogs”, “c….” and Nazis as six officers bring a person to the ground.
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Another officer is then seen pointing a canister of pepper spray at the gathered group.
“You see how quickly they make something aggressive?” the man filming says. “These guys are meant to be here to protect us”.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said there had been arrests and infringements issued to protesters in the same area on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night this week.
He said he was “absolutely concerned” with the behaviour and said police presence in the area would be bolstered.
“There are some people there taking advantage of the situation who are anti-police, anti-government, anti-everything,” he said on 3AW.
“They mightn’t be happy with the lockdown we’re in, no one is … Nothing entitles them to protest in public. They cannot do it.
“We’ll do what we can do and put more people there and arrest more people.”
The large group carried speakers playing the national anthem and protest songs.
Police were forced to block off roads and can be heard in footage posted online calling for the group to move.
A police spokesman said four men were arrested on scene for failing to provide identification and for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions. A further nine people were fined A$1652 each for breaching the stage four lockdown restrictions.
They said a 28-year-old Dandenong man was subsequently charged with assaulting and resisting police, failing to state his name and address and breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions.
A 19-year-old Dandenong man was charged with using threatening words, failing to state his name and address, and breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions.
A 22-year-old Dandenong man was charged with failing to state his name and address and breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions. All three were released pending summons.
A 43-year-old Dandenong man was also charged with failing to state his name and address and breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions. He was bailed to appear at Dandenong Magistrates Court on December 11.
Patton said he was aware of an anti-lockdown rally scheduled to be held in Melbourne’s CBD next weekend.
Police have more power to halt protests under stage four lockdown and under the state of disaster declaration. Patton said police would do everything they could to stop the event going ahead.