Covid Australia: How police plan to stop second lockdown protest in Sydney before it even starts

Another anti-lockdown protest is slated for Sydney this weekend, but furious police warn potential troublemakers – ‘your friends will invade you’.

Following Saturday’s violent Freedom Rally in the CBD, New South Wales Police have received 15,000 Crime Stopper tips from fed up Sydneysiders eager to chat about the 3,500 protesters in attendance.

So far, the calls have resulted in about 200 people being charged or fined, with a police strike force also set up to browse images and identify others violating the state’s strict coronavirus measures.

Another anti-lockdown protest is slated for Sydney this weekend, but furious police warn potential troublemakers – ‘your friends will invade you’. Pictured: Rally for Freedom protesters in Sydney’s CBD on July 24, 2021

Following Saturday's violent Freedom Rally in the CBD, New South Wales Police have received 15,000 Crime Stopper tips.  Pictured: Protesters are arrested by police during the Rally For Freedom in Sydney on July 24, 2021

Following Saturday’s violent Freedom Rally in the CBD, New South Wales Police have received 15,000 Crime Stopper tips. Pictured: Protesters are arrested by police during the Rally For Freedom in Sydney on July 24, 2021

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The Greater Sydney region has been ordered to stay at home in the past five weeks with a total of 2,574 Covid cases crippling the state’s economy and allowing around five million residents to leave home for essential reasons alone.

With the grueling lockdown now extended by at least a month on Wednesday through August 28, murmurs on social media indicate another demonstration is now in the works.

“What we saw today were 3,500 very selfish idiots – people who thought the law didn’t apply to them,” NSW Police Secretary David Elliott said in the wake of the protest.

“The fact that we’ve had almost two (to three) reports from everyone who attended last week’s rally suggests to me that there is zero tolerance for people who want to do the wrong thing.

“Just assume that when you are involved in this kind of activity that endangers your health, one of your friends is going to rob you.”

Pictured: Police arrest protesters in Victoria Park in Sydney's Glebe during the Rally For Freedom' in Sydney on July 24, 2021

Pictured: Police arrest protesters in Victoria Park in Sydney’s Glebe during the Rally For Freedom’ in Sydney on July 24, 2021

Pictured: A protester holds up a bizarre handwritten sign during the Freedom Rally in Sydney's CBD on July 24, 2021

Pictured: A protester holds up a bizarre handwritten sign during the Freedom Rally in Sydney’s CBD on July 24, 2021

The hard-line police minister added that Australia is not a nation of floats, but a nation of ‘family lovers’.

“We are a nation of people who want to ensure that their communities and families remain safe.

“And we are a nation of people who want to get us out of this pandemic as soon as possible.”

Mr Elliott said there was “white anger” at the protesters, who saw swaths of anti-vaxxers chanting conspiracy theory rhetoric and clashing with police.

NSW Police Secretary David Elliott (left) and Deputy Police Commissioner Mal Lanyon (right) sent a stern warning to potential protesters this weekend

NSW Police Secretary David Elliott (left) and Deputy Police Commissioner Mal Lanyon (right) sent a stern warning to potential protesters this weekend

With the grueling lockdown now extended by at least a month on Wednesday through August 28, murmurs on social media indicate another demonstration is now in the works.  Pictured: A man is arrested during the Freedom Rally in Sydney's CBD on July 24, 2021

With the grueling lockdown now extended by at least a month on Wednesday through August 28, murmurs on social media indicate another demonstration is now in the works. Pictured: A man is arrested during the Freedom Rally in Sydney’s CBD on July 24, 2021

“It’s no exaggeration to say that 99 percent of the population is doing the right thing,” Elliott said.

“And that 99 percent of the population is very, very frustrated with those people who are pushing boundaries and breaking the law.”

“Most MPs and most media can feel the red-hot anger of those of us who are staying at home under very difficult circumstances.

“Managing students, coping with family illness, coping with loneliness, coping with mental health, coping with work obligations and coping with the financial stress, while others just want to get out and ignore health regulations completely.”

Mr Elliott said there was

Mr Elliott said there was “white anger” at the protesters, who saw swaths of anti-vaxxers chanting conspiracy theory rhetoric and clashing with police. Pictured: Protesters take part in the Freedom Rally in Sydney’s CBD on July 24, 2021

Pictured: A woman is brought to the ground and arrested by police during the Freedom Rally in Sydney's CBD on July 24, 2021

Pictured: A woman is brought to the ground and arrested by police during the Freedom Rally in Sydney’s CBD on July 24, 2021

If the demonstrations continue, police say they will be “well equipped” to deal with those in attendance, with NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon warning police numbers would increase significantly.

“Certainly, social media and a series of covert measures are used by people to get organized because it is very clear that they are aware that what they are organizing is illegal,” he said.

“The fact that we received 15,000 reports from Crime Stoppers after Saturday shows that there is overwhelming community support for the police to stop these protests.

“There will be a range of methods used (by the police), we know how to get people into the city and we know how to get people together, so of course we will use whatever strategy we need to stop people from getting that.” .’

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