On Saturday, thousands marched through Sydney and other Australian cities to protest lockdown restrictions. There was also a surge in cases. Police made many arrests as people broke through barriers and threw bottles and plants.
Unmasked participants marched from Sydney’s Victoria Park to Town Hall, in the central business district. They carried signs calling for freedom and truth.
In response to unauthorised protest activity, there was a large police presence in Sydney. Police confirmed that several arrests were made following objects being thrown at officers.
New South Wales Police stated that it supports the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. However, the protest was in violation of public health orders.
A police statement stated that “The safety of the wider community is the priority for NSW Police.”
This protest came as COVID-19 cases in the state hit a new record, with 163 new infections within the last 24 hours.
Greater Sydney is currently under lockdown for four weeks. Residents can only leave their homes with a reasonable excuse.
Brad Hazzard, state health minister, stated that “We live in democracy” and that he supports the rights of people to protest. However, there are cases going through the roof at the moment and people thinking it’s okay to go out and maybe be near each other at a demonstration.
Melbourne saw thousands of people without masks marching downtown, chanting freedom and lighting flares outside the Parliament House in Victoria.
They carried banners that included one that said: “This isn’t about a virus, it’s about total government controlling the people.”
Adelaide is also planning a protest rally for cars. Police have warned that they will arrest anyone involved in illegal activity.
Thursday’s jabs for COVID-19 were given to 15.4% of those 16 years and older.
“We have turned the corner. We’ve got it all sorted. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that we are hitting the mark, and one million doses per week are being delivered. “We are on the right track to get to the destination we desire by the end the year, and possibly sooner.”
In light of the shortage of Pfizer supply, the federal government has announced that it will send Sydney thousands more Pfizer doses. Adults in Australia’s largest cities are being encouraged to “strongly consider” AstraZeneca.