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Melbourne Police Clash with Anti-Lockdown Protesters

Melbourne Police Clash with Anti-Lockdown Protesters”

Police have made several arrests at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, as hundreds of people protest against the city's lockdown measures.

Local media posted images of a heavy police presence in the city and scuffles with protesters at a rally taking place at the city's Shrine of Remembrance.

In a statement earlier today, Victoria Police said "it is very clear that people can not leave their home to protest" under stage 4 restrictions.

One officer suffered cuts to the head. Ugly scenes. Punches thrown.

Demonstrators moved to a nearby park before being surrounded by police and eventually dispersing.

Some of the demonstrators carried placards with anti-government sentiments and at one stage were singing the national anthem.

The nation has recorded over 26,200 cases and 748 deaths in a population of 25 million.

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There were 76 new Covid-19 infections in the country's second-most populated state and 11 deaths, Victoria's health department reported Saturday via Twitter, down from 81 new cases the previous day and a peak of 687 on August 4.

Police are on standby for a number of rallies across Victoria after plans were aired to challenge the state's strict lockdown, rules which include an 8pm to 5am curfew, and limited travel and time away from home.

Those arrests followed the well-publicised arrest of a pregnant Ballarat woman over allegations of a separate rally planned there for Saturday. "In fact, it is absolutely selfish for people to be out there protesting", Daniel Andrews told reporters this morning.

News of the arrests did not reach the news conference but Mr Andrews sent a general message to those protesting.

"It is not safe, it is not smart, it is not law. A police operation has now concluded following unauthorized protest activity in Sydney and Byron Bay today", the NSW police said in a press release. The only protest we should be engaged in, the only argument, the only fight we should be engaged in is against this virus.

Signs the Victoria outbreak is easing come after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that most state and territory leaders have recommitted to opening up the economy by December, although he failed to secure an immediate agreement to lift border restrictions that are hampering the recovery.



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