In the Australian city of Melbourne, more than 200 people were arrested in an anti-lockdown demonstration. There were about 4,000 people on their feet. Soon the demonstration got out of control. The police seized by firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
Seven officers were injured in the disturbances. The 218 people who have been arrested were all fined over 3000 euros.
Also in Sydney was demonstrated, a few hundred people came to the demonstration. The anti-lockdown demonstration went quieter there. However, 46 people were arrested and 250 fines were handed out for failure to follow police instructions. There were about 1,400 cops on their feet. The police had previously warned that the demonstration is forbidden.
The protest was against the lockdown that the state of New South Wales has been in for weeks. Yesterday, the authorities extended the lockdown until late September at least.
Images show police intervention hard in the protests:
Australia has one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. Schools are closed, residents are only allowed to go outside for shopping, exercise for up to two hours and stay within five kilometers of their home. Mouth masks are mandatory everywhere.
The number of infections in the country averaged 580 per day last week, relatively little compared to the Netherlands, for example. The country strives for a completely coronave-free society, a so-called ‘zero covid’ strategy.
Many Australians criticise that zero covid policy and say the government should have started vaccinating much sooner. For a long time, the number of infections in the country went well, causing the vaccination campaign to start slowly. Approximately a quarter of the population has now been fully vaccinated against corona.