The team walked through the National Gallery of Victoria and the ABC headquarters in Melbourne, blocking roads and local traffic.
Initially greeted with minimal presence, officers and Mounted Police began approaching the group shortly after 1:30 pm, dividing them into smaller groups, before beginning to make arrests.
By 2 p.m., a lot of anti-lockdown crowds had scattered among the parks.
The protesters were dispersed. Organizers are asking protesters to “abort the botanical gardens” and have a lunch break while they wait for “instructions” on whether to continue or call it a day. pic.twitter.com/BXscXX3VO8
The rally comes after the announcement on October 15 that, as of October 15, Victorians working in occupations on the list of authorized workers must have had at least a dose of a vaccine – unless they have an exemption.
The list of occupations includes emergency services, personal trainers, marriage celebrants, journalists and media workers, retail workers who operate tap and assembly services, and members of the public service who do essential work, including politicians.
The protest coincides with Victoria’s highest day of case numbers, which was blamed in part on illegal social gatherings last weekend.
In the last 24 hours, 1,488 cases have been registered And two deaths.
Victoria sets new record with 1,488 local cases of COVID-19 and two deaths
When asked by reporters about today’s protest, COVID-19 leader Jeroen Weimar expressed frustration with their actions.
“Why? Really, I mean, we get it. We get the fact that people are frustrated, and we understand the fact that we’re upset. You’re not helping yourself, you’re not helping anyone,” he said.
“At best, you risk generating more transmission. At worst, you know you’re making, and you’re fanning an already burning fire. I just think it’s really unhelpful.”
Today’s protests appear to be the largest in scale since protesters occupied the Shrine of Remembrance for hours on Wednesday, September 22nd.
Victoria Police dismantled the gathering using tear gas and rubber bullets.