Coordinated anti-lockdown protests are planned for Saturday in major cities across Australia, but police say they are ready.
Anti-lockdown protesters in every state are being organized from Melbourne, where residents have been in a harsh lockdown for just six months since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Australia.
Demonstrations all the way north in Cairns, where Covid has long been considered a foreign word, have been included in the protest hit list.
Anti-lockdown protesters marched through Melbourne’s CBD after fifth lockdown announced
Protesters were quick to take to the streets on July 15 after Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced he would lock them up again
Protests are planned across the province this weekend
In Darwin, which got a taste of the Covid lockdown last month as the virus escaped from the hotel quarantine in Queensland, protesters have been told to gather in Raintree Park.
In Brisbane they will be the Botanic Gardens and in Sydney they will meet in Victoria Park.
A protest is even planned in Tasmania, where the government is more used to excluding Australians than locking them up.
In Victoria, where a further 26 Covid-19 cases were recorded overnight, the location of the protest will remain secret until half an hour before it is due to start.
It is a tactic previously used by protest groups in an effort to prevent interception by Victoria police officers.
The lockdown protests of the past year and a half have not ended well for those present in Victoria, where police arrive armed with pepper spray and riot gear.
On Thursday, Victoria police warned would-be rebels to think twice before breaking lockdown rules.
“Those who choose to blatantly ignore the Chief Health Officer’s directions and endanger the health and safety of all Victorians could be held accountable and fined,” a spokeswoman told the Daily Mail Australia.
Officers will be in force over the weekend with a highly visible police presence in Melbourne’s CBD, roads and public transport network.
“The Victoria Police Department is confident that the vast majority of Victorians will do the right thing and abide by these restrictions so that we can all get back to normal as soon as possible,” the spokeswoman said.
Right now, there are only five reasons for Victorians to leave the house, with a strong need to avoid public gatherings.
Sources have said Daily Mail Australia detectives have already been in contact with protest organizers in the hopes of canceling the planned event.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Freedom Rally protesters have told people planning to break the lockdown to keep up to date with news via the Telegram app.
Angry Melburnians have taken to the streets again after learning they would be incarcerated again. They have been caged at home for six months now
September 2020: Victoria police take to beaches and arrest people violating lockdown laws
Anti-lockdown protests plagued Melbourne during the long second lockdown. More protests expected as Melburnians are incarcerated again
From there, organizers can quickly disperse the venue in hopes of flooding it before police can seal off the area.
It’s a tactic that has had mixed results, with police officers well placed within the groups to receive the updates.
During Victoria’s second deadly wave, which leaked from the Victorian government’s bungled hotel quarantine plan, police greeted protesters in full riot gear.
Protesters were often picked up from Flinders Street Station before they even made it to the scheduled meeting point.
It was less than a week ago when protesters caused chaos on the streets of Melbourne just hours before the city was shut down for a fifth time.
Protesters quickly filled Melbourne’s CBD, marching from Flinders Street Station to Parliament House chanting ‘freedom’.
Dozens of policemen flocked to the area when a flare went off among the crowd, but no arrests were made that night.
Angry protesters, many of whom refused to wear masks, held signs demanding an end to lockdowns and the removal of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.
A few hours earlier, Andrews had announced that the state would enter a five-day “snap lockdown” starting at midnight.
“We have to do this or it will get away with us and we, as more than any other part of our nation knows, we don’t want this to get away from us and be locked up for months,” said Mr Andrews. said at the time.
“We want to tackle this with a short, sharp, lockdown, decisive action, don’t wait, don’t delay, now is our time.”
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews returned from back injury and immediately placed Victorians back in lockdown
Victoria Police stood guard outside Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance last year as anti-mask protesters pledged to hold a demonstration
A man who came to the planned protest was quickly arrested by waiting police
August 9, 2020: A man leaves after being questioned by police during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne
That lockdown was quickly extended, with Victoria on Thursday registering the highest daily rise in Covid cases since Sept. 18, when the state was hit by a deadly second wave.
Protesters expect a huge turnout for Saturday’s planned action, with fed up Victorians expressing more outrage this week compared to the state’s previous two lockdowns in February and May.
“It would be good to see huge numbers of people taking to the big roads and screaming for freedom,” one man wrote on social media.
‘WE ARE AT HOME ARREST IN GOD’S SAKE! For something that has only killed a 90 year old this whole year! (People no longer die of old age),’ protest organizers announced this week.
‘It is your choice. You are either going to submit and contribute to the enslavement of humanity and our future generations OR you will rise up and end it now.”
PANDEMIC PROTESTS ARE NOTHING NEW IN MELBOURNE
June 6, 2020: A Black Lives Matters protest saw Victoria Police step back and let 10,000 Victorians take to the streets after the death of black American George Floyd at the knee of police.
July 8, 2020: Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews blames police for allowing that protest to take place – ending repeated appearances in subsequent lockdown protests
July 31: Victoria Police show dramatic show of force, heavily fined 18 anti-mask protesters at Melbourne War Memorial
August 26, 2020: Police storm suburban streets in Dandenong, where protesters continue to take group walks – against lockdown rules
August 30: Dozens of protesters spend the afternoon throwing flares and rocks at police along Pascoe Vale Road in Melbourne’s north
September: Zoe Buhler, 28, was filmed being arrested and handcuffed in her pajamas in front of her children for inciting lockdown protesters
October 13: A bus demanding the PM ‘Let Us Out’ begins protests across the state
October 23: Police arrest 16 anti-lockdown protesters and hand out 61 fines as they clash with hundreds of ‘Freedom Day’ protesters
February 20, 2021: About 500 people came to Fawkner Park in South Yarra to protest the Australian government’s planned coronavirus vaccine rollout
May 2021: Two anti-lockdown protesters are said to attack and injure police amid wild scenes in Melbourne’s CBD during Victoria’s fourth lockdown
July 2021: Protesters march through Melbourne again after fifth lockdown announced
Victoria Police detain protester in Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens in May
Lockdown protests flared up again in May after the fourth lockdown was announced
Police detain protester at Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne Melbourne in May mei