Chaos as anti-vaxxers and anti-lockdown protesters clash with police at three vaccination hubs in Melbourne as the state battles five new cases and growing unease about staying indoors
- Protests planned for three venues in Melbourne’s CBD from 12pm on Saturday
- Venues are Royal Exhibition, Sandown Racecourse & Melbourne Showgrounds
- Police warned they will have officers out in force, with state still in lockdown
There is a heavy police presence in Melbourne as a number of anti-vaxxers and anti-lockdown protesters descend on the city.
It didn’t take long for tensions to escalate, with reports of multiple arrests just after midday in the CBD on Flinders St.
Dozens of police officers are now based at vaccination hubs at the Royal Exhibition Building, Sandown Racecourse and the Melbourne Showgrounds.
Ominously, some protestors have declared they will cause ‘widespread chaos.’
Police seen talking to a man (pictured) during the snap protest on Saturday in Melbourne’s CBD
One of the fed up protest speakers (pictured) talking to police in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday
Moments before her arrest, a woman (pictured) was seen arguing with police in Melbourne’s CBD
The woman (pictured) who was arrested during the snap protest on Saturday in the heart of Melbourne
Police (pictured) were quick to move on a number of protestors who are unhappy Melbourne’s lockdown was increased this week
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent confirmed officers will be out in force.
‘People will be issued fines or arrested depending on the behaviour. All I ask is please don’t bother, don’t turn up, you’re going to be arrested,’ he said.
‘Police will respond to all breaches of imposed directives, as we have been doing all the way.’
Carly Soderstrom, who spoke at the protest, said she wanted to represent struggling small businesses in a peaceful fashion.
‘We are not being heard on social media or by our local members so (today) we wanted to have our voices heard,’ she said.
Last week, police made 14 arrests during protests, with a further 55 attendees issued fines of $1652 each in Melbourne.
Two police officers were also injured in violent scenes.
Today’s development come as Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton called out anti-vaxxers planning to protest at vaccination hubs, warning them to not disrupt people trying to get the jab.
‘I understand there might be some anti-vaccination protests plan today which is usually an fortunate that there is that sentiment in anyone,’ he said at Saturday’s press conference.
‘I recognise they represent a small minority, and a vaccine is not mandated.
‘As an individual, you are freed not to get it if you don’t want to get it for yourself.
‘I still find some discomfort with that because we all need to be protected with a height vaccination coverage, but it is your choice.
‘But do not get in the way of all of those Victorians who are trying to come and get vaccinated today and every other day.’
Victoria Police (pictured) talking to a protester during a ‘Free Melbourne’ anti-lockdown protest outside the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on June 5
Police (pictured) after a snap protest was called on Friday night by a group of business owners, who are unhappy with the governments management of the current outbreak in Melbourne
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton (pictured) said the protestors represent a ‘small minority’ of public opinion in relation to the lockdown at a press conference on Saturday
People waiting in line at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre vaccination clinic (pictured) in Melbourne on Saturday