Thousands of angry, unmasked people marched through the Sydney central business district on Saturday afternoon demanding an end to the city’s lockdown, which is entering its fifth week. After protesters were dispersed, the New South Wales police minister, David Elliott, announced the formation of a strike force to identify each of the 3,500 protesters at the “super spreader” event.
Elliott said 57 people were arrested and several police officers had been assaulted. “If we don’t see a [Covid] spike in the areas these protesters came from in the next week I’ll be very, very surprised,” Elliott said. “It was just a whole lot of halfwits.”
Demonstrators broke through barriers in the Sydney CBD and threw plastic bottles at police. Similar scenes unfolded in Melbourne and Adelaide, which are both in lockdown, and Brisbane, which is not.
As demonstrators were gathering in Sydney, the New South Wales health minister, Brad Hazzard, revealed a record number of new coronavirus cases had been detected – 163 in the previous 24 hours – and pleaded with people to stay at home. “We really need our community, particularly in south-western and western Sydney, to stay at home, to hear the message and stay at home,” Hazzard said.
The NSW police said officers from across central metropolitan region, assisted by specialist resources, were deployed in response to the unauthorised Sydney protest. “The NSW police force recognises and supports the rights of individuals and groups to exercise their rights of free speech and peaceful assembly, however, today’s protest is in breach of the current Covid-19 public health orders,” it said. “The priority for NSW police is always the safety of the wider community.”
Hazzard condemned the planned protests as “really silly” on Saturday morning. “We live in a democracy and normally I am certainly one who supports people’s rights to protest ... but at the present time we’ve got cases going through the roof and we have people thinking that’s OK to get out there and possibly be close to each other at a demonstration.”
NSW police deputy commissioner Gary Worboys said police wanted to work with the organisers to make sure people were complying with public health orders and that it did not turn into a “disastrous” mass spreading event.
|Boofhead: Bloody Old Fart?|
What we saw today was 3,500 very selfish boofheads,” Police Minister David Elliott said. Protesters shouting “freedom” marched in their thousands to stage an unauthorised anti-lockdown protest in Sydney causing chaos in the CBD and leading to violent protests with police.
The demonstration started at Victoria Park in Camperdown and moved down city streets bringing traffic to a standstill as protesters walked down Broadway shouting: “freedom”. Near Town Hall protesters threw items at mounted police and a violent clash occurred on George street where officers formed a barricade.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday afternoon Police Minister David Elliot said nearly 400 police officers had worked under “very difficult” circumstances with many coming back injured. He revealed 90 infringement notices had been issued and 57 people charged with multiple offences throughout the day.
“There is no doubt in my mind that at least one individual there had COVID. It is statistically impossible for us not to consider that,” he said. Mr Elliot has asked all people involved in the protest to go for a COVID-19 test tomorrow in a bid to reduce the risk of a major outbreak. “This selfish, inappropriate behaviour is what is going to continue this city in lockdown. It cannot go on.”
“For those who are calling for it to occur again next week look out because these 400 officers will turn into 4,000 if needs be,” he warned. “The appeal is simple. If you don’t want to be in lockdown obey the rules. This is not a time for us to push the envelope, not a time for us to game the system. This is a time for us to be at home, get tested, get our jab and then get on with life.”
Under current health orders people from different households are only allowed to gather in groups of two for exercise. Similar demonstrations have taken place today in Brisbane and Melbourne which is in the middle of its fifth lockdown. It comes as 163 cases were reported in Greater Sydney on Saturday breaking the daily case count for a fourth consecutive day.
(Blogger's notes: Australia seems like being run by bloody Socialists for all the state governments have been shutting down the whole country willy-nilly just because of few little COVID deaths! Like what Chinese Communists did in Wuhan. Frightened people of Wuhan under the commie guns had to take it but freedom-loving proud Australians should not take that shit at all.)