Highlights from the Snap Protest in response to Lockdown 6.0 in Victoria, Australia – 05.08.21
There was tension in the air in Victoria last night when Melburnians gathered in front of Flinders Street Station to voice their opposition to the state’s 6th lockdown announced by Premier Daniel Andrews just hours prior.
From my observations, the crowd was overwhelmingly peaceful and represented a diverse mix of the Victorian community, including all ethnicities, families, school kids & small business owners.
The protest started at 7pm prior to the new lockdown restrictions and the 5 reasons for leaving home coming into force at 8pm. However, police action against the people gathered began at the very beginning when speakers were dragged away by the Public Order Response Team. This was odd, as Premier Daniel Andrews supported thousands gathering during the Euro finals (under similar rules just last month) in Carlton with a tweet marking the occasion.
The portrayal by the media and Assistant Commissioner of Victoria Police Luke Cornelius (who wasn’t there) of violence being instigated primarily by the protesters does not match what I observed on the day as a witness to the events that unfolded. I predominantly witnessed police spraying people marching peacefully with capsicum spray (unprovoked) and then chasing down small groups of people in city laneways to trap them. The few arrests I did film were of minors, girls and boys (under the age of 17) being knelt on by up to 6 police officers at a time.
There is an entire unedited livestream I filmed (available in a seperate post on my page) of the majority of the protest as a part of my coverage which can attest to what I witnessed.