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Coordinated anti-lockdown protests are set to take place in major cities across Australia on Saturday – but police say they are ready.
Gatherings all the way north in Cairns, where Covid has long been seen as a foreign word, are included in the protest targeting list.
Anti-lockdown protesters marched through Melbourne’s central business district after its fifth lockdown was announced
Protesters quickly took to the streets on 15 July after Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced he would shut them down again.
Protests are planned across the county this weekend
In Darwin, which got off the taste of the Covid lockdown last month when the virus escaped quarantine in a Queensland hotel, protesters were asked to gather in Raintree Park.
In Brisbane, are the Botanical Gardens and in Sydney they will aim to meet in Victoria Park.
The protest was planned even in Tasmania, whose government is more used to isolating Australians than locking them up.
In Victoria, where 26 more cases of Covid-19 were recorded overnight, the location of the protest will remain a secret until half an hour before the protest is scheduled to start.
It is a tactic that protest groups have previously used in an attempt to avoid objection from Victoria Police officers.
The lockdown protests over the past year and a half have not ended well for those who attended in Victoria as police come armed with pepper spray and riot gear.
On Thursday, Victoria Police warned potential rebels to think twice before breaking lockdown rules.
A spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia: “Those who choose to flagrantly disregard the guidance of the Chief Health Officer and put the health and safety of all Victorians at risk can expect to be held accountable and fined.”
Officers will be in force over the weekend with a highly visible police presence across the CBD, roads and Melbourne’s public transport network.
“Victoria Police are confident that the vast majority of Victorians will do the right thing and adhere to these restrictions so we can all return to normal life as soon as possible,” the spokeswoman said.
Currently, there are only five reasons why Victorians should leave their homes, with a strong need to avoid public gatherings.
Sources told Daily Mail Australia that investigators are already in contact with protest organizers hoping to cancel the planned event.
Meanwhile, protesters at the Freedom Rally in Melbourne told people planning to break the lockdown to follow the news via the Telegram app.
Angry Melbourne residents are back on the streets once again after learning they will be locked down again. They have now spent six months in a cage at home
September 2020: Victoria Police hit beaches and arrest people for breaking lockdown laws
Anti-lockdown protests swept Melbourne during its second long lockdown. More protests expected as Melbourne residents get locked up again
From there, organizers can quickly publish the site in hopes of inundating it before the police can seal off the area.
It is a tactic that has had mixed results, with police officers being well positioned within groups to receive updates.
During the second deadly wave in Victoria, which was leaked by the Victorian government’s failed quarantine plan, protesters were greeted by police in full riot gear.
Protesters were often picked up at Flinders Street station before they made their way to their planned meeting point.
It was less than a week ago when protesters caused chaos on the streets of Melbourne hours before the city entered its fifth lockdown.
Protesters quickly filled Melbourne’s central business district, marching from Flinders Street station to Parliament House chanting “Freedom”.
Dozens of police flocked to the area as a torch erupted in the crowd, but no arrests were made in the night.
Angry protesters, many of whom refused to wear masks, raised banners calling for an end to the lockdowns and the dismissal of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.
Just hours earlier, Andrews announced that the state would enter a five-day “sudden shutdown” from midnight.
“We have to do it, or he will get away with it, and we, as he knows more than any other part of our nation, do not want this to get away from us and be locked up for months,” Mr. Andrews said at the time.
“We want to deal with this with short, sharp, decisive, decisive action, not waiting, not slowing down, and now it’s our time.”
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews returned from a back injury and promptly brought lockdown back again
Victoria police stand in front of a memorial shrine in Melbourne last year where anti-mask protesters promised to march.
The man who attended the planned protest was quickly cut off by the waiting police
August 9, 2020: A man leaves after being questioned by police during an anti-lockdown demonstration in Melbourne
That lockdown was quickly extended, with Victoria on Thursday reporting its highest daily rise in Covid cases since September 18 when the state was hit by a deadly second wave.
Demonstrators are expecting a big turnout for the measure planned for Saturday, as tired Victorians expressed their growing anger this week over the previous state shutdowns in February and May.
“It would be good to see huge numbers of people spilling onto the main roads chanting for freedom,” one man wrote on social media.
“We’re in the house of arresting gods! For something that only killed 90 this whole year! (People don’t die of old age anymore), protest organizers said this week.
‘It’s your choice. Either you advance and contribute to the enslavement of humanity and our future generations, or you stand and end this matter now.
Epidemiological protests are not new in Melbourne
June 6, 2020: Black Lives Matters protest saw Victoria Police stand back and allow 10,000 Victorians to take to the streets following the death of black American George Floyd on a police knee.
July 8, 2020: Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews blames the police for allowing this protest to happen – ending recurring performances in the lockdown protests that follow
July 31: Victoria Police made a dramatic show of force and slapped 18 anti-mask protesters with heavy fines at the Melbourne War Memorial.
August 26, 2020: Police storm suburban streets in Dandenong as protesters continue to take mass walks – against lockdown rules.
August 30: Dozens of protesters spend the afternoon throwing flares and rocks at police along Pasco Valley Road in north Melbourne.
September: Zoe Boehler, 28, is photographed being arrested and handcuffed in her pajamas in front of her children for inciting protesters to shut down.
October 13: A bus calling for the premier to ‘Let Us Out’ begins inciting protests across the state
October 23: Police arrested 16 anti-lockdown protesters and imposed 61 fines during a standoff with hundreds of ‘Freedom Day’ protesters.
February 20, 2021: About 500 people demonstrated in Faulkner Park in South Yarra to protest the Australian government’s plan to release a coronavirus vaccine.
May 2021: Two anti-lockdown protesters allegedly assault and injure police amid wild scenes in Melbourne’s central business district during the fourth Victoria lockdown
July 2021: Protesters march in Melbourne again after the announcement of the fifth lockdown
Victoria Police detain a protester at Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne in May
Lockdown protests intensified again in May after the fourth lockdown was announced
Police detain a protester at Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne in May
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