Victorian police are out in force amid fears thousands of people would take to the streets for another anti-lockdown rally.
With great public interest on a ‘Freedom Day’ rally on social media, police have been seen on horseback and around Parliament House, which was believed to be one of the locations targeted by protesters.
There have also been reports of officers stopping early morning walkers outside of the centre of state government.
A man has also been arrested ahead of the planned rally behind Parliament House.
The man was holding a sign which read: “State law inconsistent with the Commonwealth of Australia, Constitution 1902.”
The man was seen was seen being taken into the back of a police car.
Further arrests have been made at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, including a woman who was taken Melbourne West police station and a maskless man who repeatedly called police “Nazi dogs”.
As Victoria recorded 76 new coronavirus infections and 11 deaths on Saturday, Premier Daniel Andrews slammed anti-lockdown protestors, calling their behaviour “absolutely selfish”.
“It is not safe, it is not smart, it is not law. In fact, it is absolutely selfish for people to be out there protesting,” he told reporters.
“The only protest we should be engaged in, the only argument, the only fight we should be engaged in is against this virus.”
The ‘Freedom Day Rally’ event on Facebook, which has more than 10,700 members, organised protests in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for Saturday morning.
Many people have posted on the group about their antics, donning signs and many without face masks.
Another woman who attended the rally in Hyde Park in Sydney posted footage to the group after she was approached by a police officer.
The police officer explains there is a possible $1000 fine or further police action.
“If you’re protesting. you’re in branch of the orders,” the officer says.
More to come.