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Public transport closes down in Melbourne CBD to stop protest against lockdown

Public transport closes down in Melbourne CBD to stop protest against lockdown

Victoria Police will take an extraordinary step to stop people entering the city for an anti-lockdown rally.

The Melbourne CBD will be cordoned off and public transport stopped in an attempt to prevent Saturday’s scheduled anti-lockdown rally, which authorities have considered a potential “super-spreader” event.

The public transport network to the city will be temporarily suspended between 8am and 2pm on Saturday, Victoria Police Chief Shane Patton announced on Wednesday.

Buses will bypass the city, and trams and trains stop right by the CBD, with police available to ensure people follow public health directions and do not plan to enter the city.

“Anyone planning to come in, this is an illegal collection and we will do everything we can to prevent this collection,” Patton said.

“And if people are going to make it the CBD for this collection, we will enforce it.

“We will do everything we can to prevent access to the city.”

Those entering the city risk fines of $ 5,500, while fines of $ 1,800 also apply to people outside their 5km zone.

Sir. Patton said authorities “did not take this decision lightly” given the major inconvenience to the public.

The planned protest has been described by the organizers as a “worldwide rally for freedom” and will take place in cities across the country.

A similar protest that drew more than 4,000 people in the Melbourne CBD on 21 August was devastated by violence when police and protesters clashed.

Nine police officers were hospitalized due to injuries, with the force’s top brass branding it as one of the most violent demonstrations in 20 years.

The special police took on in full riot and wore ballistic shields that were forced to shoot pepperball rounds at protesters as they accused officers and violated the police line.

“We saw a convergence between people that put others at risk of potentially contracting coronavirus,” Patton said.

“With the new Delta strain, the risk worsens significantly. We can not allow that to happen again.

“It’s really interesting that this whole cohort of people who are about freedom do not seem to respect the freedoms of others. And everyone who comes in here is endangering these freedoms. ”

Barricades, traffic police and moving patrols will guard the CBD as significant police numbers come in to deal with offenders and violence.

The Chief Commissioner especially called for the participation of families and children.

“Do you really want to put your child, your family in danger if a small group of people comes and … they are willing to commit violence like they were last time?” he said.

“I would urge everyone not to come in, but this is certainly not a place for families, for children.”

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