Melbourne is bracing for another anti-lockdown protest with more than 1000 planning a “freedom walk” amid stage four COVID-19 restrictions.
After violent anti-lockdown protests at the Shrine of Remembrance and surrounding areas on the weekend, some 1100 Facebook users have signalled their commitment to walk the Royal Botanic Gardens’ Tan track this Saturday.
The “freedom walk” claims to be legal and asks citizens to “come together, get healthy and talk about getting our freedoms back”.
In a statement on Wednesday, Victoria Police said it was aware of the event and is monitoring the potential protest activity.
“We are currently making a number of enquiries in relation to this and remain in the process of planning our operational response,” the statement said.
“It remains very clear that under stage four restrictions protest activity cannot occur, with any individual deliberately and blatantly breaching the chief health officer’s directives liable for a fine of $1652.”
Four men were arrested and charged with incitement in the lead-up to last Saturday’s Freedom Day rally in Melbourne, as about 200 people gathered at the shrine and Albert Park.
Violent scuffles between protesters and police broke out, resulting in police arresting 17 people and handing out at least 180 fines.
The organiser of this Saturday’s event is reportedly former political hopeful Tony Pecora, who is using an online alias.
Clive Palmer dropped Mr Pecora as a United Australia Party candidate for the federal seat of Melbourne prior to the 2019 election after he peddled September 11 conspiracy theories.