Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of many cities across Australia to protest against lockdown restrictions.
Protesters in Sydney marched from Victoria Park to Town Hall carrying signs which read ‘freedom’ and ‘the truth’.
Authorities stated that the protests were unauthorised and a heavy police presence was deployed, including riot officers.
A number of arrests were made following the protests.
New South Wales Police stated that it respected the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly but added that the protests were a breach of public health guidelines.
For the past four weeks, Sydney has been strictly locked down, with residents only being permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons.
Minister for Health and Medical Research of New South Wales Brad Hazzard stated, “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.”
Thousands of protesters gathered outside Victoria state’s Parliament House in Melbourne chanting ‘freedom’ with some lighting flares.
One of the signs being held by the protesters read, ‘This is not about a virus it’s about total government control of the people.’
In Adelaide, which is also under lockdown, a car protest rally is planned, with police warning that they will make arrests if they detect unlawful activity.