Two arrested, six fined after 'Freedom Day' anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne
Dozens of protesters have come together in song to rally against Victoria's lockdown laws at a demonstration that was moved on by police and saw two people arrested and six fined.
The group today launched into a communal rendition of John Farnham's classic song 'You're the Voice' at Chadstone Shopping Centre, east of Melbourne, to express their concerns with current COVID-19 restrictions.
Dubbed as another "Freedom Day" rally, some protesters said they were taking part to highlight the long-term effects lockdowns will have on the people of Victoria.
Organisers promised the event would be "big" and advised people planning to attend to "go shopping for some essential goods immediately".
"Potentially, there are far more people who will lose their lives due to the lockdown measures," one protester told 9News.
"This is freedom of speech and our human rights have been violated. It is disgusting," another said.
The police Public Order Response squad was soon called to the shopping centre, causing the demonstrators to scatter throughout stores to avoid officers.
Some shoppers at the centre today told 9News, however, that they were not impressed by the showing.
"How about coming to help us out on the COVID wards? Come and help us out," one woman, who said she is a nurse, said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today also voiced his frustrations with the crowd.
"Go home, stay home. Follow the rules, then you will be able to do all the protesting like at some point in the future," he said at today's coronavirus press conference update.
Two people were arrested and six people were handed fines for public health order breaches after the rally today, and police have promised to continue cracking down.
"Police will continue to play an important role in enforcing the directions of the Chief Health Officer and contributing to limiting the spread of the coronavirus," a police statement said
"Police acknowledge and appreciate the vast majority of the community who are doing the right thing.
"It is only a very small number of people that still choose to put the rest of the community at risk through their selfish behaviour."
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