Extraordinary scenes on the streets of Melbourne as anti-lockdown protesters clash with police and run riot in dramatic suburban stand-off – but they say they were just getting their daily exercise
A horde of anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police in the middle of a busy Victorian street.
The COVID-stricken state recorded another 114 new cases and 11 deaths on Sunday, but demonstrators continued to take to the streets to demand an end to the strict lockdown.
Confronting footage taken in Pascoe Vale, in Melbourne‘s north, showed dozens of men dressed down in tracksuits and masks making their way through the streets as traffic was brought to a standstill.
The protesters claimed, when asked, that they were simply getting their daily exercise, which is one of just four legal reasons to leave home in Melbourne.
At least six people were arrested during the protests, 7News reported.
Confronting footage taken in Pascoe Vale, in Melbourne ‘s north, showed dozens of men dressed down in tracksuits and masks making their way through the streets as traffic was brought to a standstill
Some of the protesters wore masks which were reminiscent of the movie, The Purge, as they confronted officers
The activists were reportedly ‘antagonising officers and damaging property’, during the exercise.
Footage shows some of the men destroying a fence to a private property as they tried to flee from police.
Some of the protesters wore masks which were reminiscent of the movie, The Purge, as they confronted officers.
In the 2013 dystopian horror film, the government sanctions all crime for a 12 hour period, leading to rioting.
The protests came as Premier Daniel Andrews refused to detail mysterious plans to ease Victoria’s restrictive lockdown.
Victoria’s stage four restrictions are due to end in two weeks, but Mr Andrews indicated they will likely be extended
Footage shows some of the men destroying a fence to a private property as they tried to flee from police
Mr Andrews mentioned the ‘plan’ 22 times during a press conference on Sunday morning, without offering any concrete date for eased restrictions or roadmap out of the lockdown.
‘These case numbers are too high for us to open up, and they are still too high for us to put forward a definitive plan,’ he said.
‘Now, there will be a plan. It will come soon.
‘It needs to be a clear plan that we are confident we can actually deliver. And I do appreciate that it is frustrating, but a plan that is real is always much better, I think, than one that is rushed out and really doesn’t have the data sitting behind it, the evidence, the science.’
Victoria’s stage four restrictions are due to end in two weeks, but Mr Andrews indicated they will likely be extended.
Without a clear path to freedom in sight, scores of furious Melburnians are expressing their frustration with the handling of the crisis.
Anti-lockdown walkers were doused with pepper spray and struggled with cops as community frustration with Melbourne’s draconian Stage 4 restrictions reached boiling point last week.
Police issued $15,000 in fines and arrested four men during a wild afternoon clash at Dandenong in Melbourne’s southeast on Wednesday – amid fears the nightly walks could soon escalate into full scale riots.
In video shared on social media, police can be seen aiming pepper spray at walkers as officers tackle a man to the ground.
Confronting footage shows officers take a man down from behind by the neck amid screams from the crowd that he was simply going for a walk.
The man, who was not wearing a mask, was pulled off the road and tackled while other officers scurried to fend off the crowd.
Another man has a can of pepper spray pushed into his face and sprayed at near point blank range after shrugging off an officer and walking away.
Among those arrested were a a 28-year-old Dandenong man, who was subsequently charged with assaulting police, resisting arrest, failing to state his name and address and breaching the chief health officer directions.
A 19-year-old Dandenong man was also charged with use threatening words, failing to state his name and address and breaching the chief health officer directions while a 22-year-old Dandenong faces similar charges.
All three were released pending summons, but all nine were fined $1652 each for breaching the stage four lockdown restrictions.
Tensions in Dandenong – south east of Melbourne – have been flaring for days after a large group of residents decided to start walking at the same time and place.
Under Stage Four restrictions Melbourne residents can only leave their homes for four reasons, to buy essential items like groceries, for care or to give care, exercise and work.
There is also a nightly curfew from 8pm until 5am.