Melbourne protests: Parade of ARRESTS replaces Grand Final Parade
Residents of Melbourne have been greeted by a Grand Final parade of law enforcement as police fight to get the upper hand on demonstrators.
In disturbing scenes, Victoria Police pounced on anyone who entered the city’s iconic Bourke Street Mall on Friday morning.
Hundreds of cops swarmed the streets and surrounded major landmarks almost a week after chaotic protests began, led by tradies revolting over vaccine mandates and spurred on by anti-vaxxer troublemakers.
Just two years ago on the eve of the AFL Grand Final, the city was a sea of colour for the annual parade – but today the dominant shade was navy blue.
People going about their business were being stopped, searched and interrogated about their reason for being in town.
A woman is detained as police patrol the Melbourne CBD talking to pedestrians and making several arrests to try and stop planned protests
In disturbing scenes, Victoria Police pounced on anyone who entered the Bourke Street Mall on Friday to quiz them about why they were there. Pictured: A woman is arrested
One woman was handcuffed and taken away by several officers in Melbourne
Victorian police officers speak with a person ahead of a planned rally against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in Melbourne
Victorian police officers wearing gloves and body cameras detain a man in the CBD
Daily Mail Australia observed one woman from leafy South Yarra take on police after being asked to produce identification.
She was among the lucky ones to leave on foot and not in the back of a police van.
Others berated police as they were cuffed and taken away after failing to cough up a good enough reason for being in the CBD.
Police remained on high alert amid fears protesters will congregate in the city.
Just two years ago: The Grand Final parade in Melbourne before Richmond beat GWS in 2019
Richmond fans lined the streets after their team won the Grand Final in 2019
Officers have been seen as far away as Collingwood, where they were guarding buildings along Johnston Street.
A large turn out by protesters had been expected after their failure to rally on Thursday.
Despite promises to protest every day, it appears the rallies may happen ‘every other day’ instead.
Police converged on Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens just on 2pm after a protester called on people to rally there via a live stream.
The man was promptly arrested before anyone else showed up to follow his ill advised callout.
Moronic protesters had alerted police via various live streams, which pinpointed their exact location.
Many of the protesters, numbered at less than 100, escaped.
It is feared another protest may yet pop up somewhere also within or around Melbourne’s CBD.
epa09484629 Victorian Police officers detain a person ahead of a planned rally against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in Melbourne
The police helicopter continued to hover overhead ready to pinpoint any likely resistance
Police patrol the Melbourne CBD including with horses after days of protests in the CBD
A large presence of police are seen during a major operation to disrupt planned Hi-Vis Anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne
Police remained on high alert across the CBD, with squads seen milling down random side streets.
The police helicopter continued to hover overhead ready to pinpoint any likely resistance.
Queen Victoria Market was littered with police, who at lunchtime made up most of its patronage.
Exits to train stations were covered off, with police eager to snuff out any form of gatherings before they began.
The scenes marked a strong contrast to the 2019 Grand Final day when the Richmond Tigers went head-to-head with the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Giants fans who travelled from Sydney for the big day donned orange team scarfs and held signs like ‘fight until the end’ in preparation for the season decider.
Fake undercover cops and tradies bickering about traitors in their midst: Extraordinary messages expose why Melbourne’s anti-vaxx protests fizzled out after throwing the city into chaos for days
By Aidan Wondracz
The scenes came as the anti-vaccination protesters turned on each other and accused members of working as undercover police officers and sabotaging their rallies in a series of fiery text messages.
The online bickering ultimately led to demonstrators failing to pull off a mass rally in the Victoria’s capital city on Thursday.
The poor turnout came despite protesters vowing to stage demonstrations every day in a show of support for construction workers who have been ordered to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Text messages exchanged between protesters in private Telegram group chats revealed a culture of mistrust that ultimately left demonstrators unable to agree on a location to stage their next rally.
The online bickering ultimately led to demonstrators failing to pull off a mass rally for the fourth-day straight in the Victorian capital city on Thursday
Text messages exchanged between protesters revealed a culture of mistrust that ultimately left demonstrators unable to agree on a location to stage their next rally
Some accused other group members of working as undercover cops and monitoring their conversations
Some group members accused each other of working as undercover cops and monitoring their conversations.
‘How many cops in this group chat huh?’ one person messaged.
Another protester responded: ‘Probably same amount that are in the protest causing trouble. I have picked a few out.’
One protester pictured another group member they believed were secretly working for the police force.
The photo sparked a heated online debate with group chat members exchanging insults.
‘Lol f***ing idiot. Stop making s*** up, she isn’t a cop,’ one person wrote.
Another demonstrator said: ‘Someone get rid of the spammers please. Can we keep this group protest and protest support only.’
Protesters were also unable to agree on the place of their next meet-up.
Locations changed from Yarra Park to the Exhibition Street vaccination hub to St Kilda Beach and Chapel Street.
More than 600 protesters have been arrested since the rallies kicked off on Saturday.
The Department of Health confirmed the demonstrator was among the crowd at Victoria’s Shrine of Remembrance where dramatic scenes played out on Wednesday.
While there is a very low chance Covid can spread outside, transmission can occur when an infected person is in close proximity to others – especially without masks – for an extended period of time.
Panic has now gripped the state’s health system with fears there could be a flurry of new cases to follow after hundreds descended on the war memorial yesterday and about 2000 marched throughout the CBD on Tuesday.
‘Public health investigations are under way,’ the department said in a statement.
‘We are urging protesters to get tested should they experience Covid-like symptoms, no matter how mild.’
A large mob also stormed the head office of the CFMEU on Monday with construction workers furious over mandatory coronavirus vaccine requirements on job sites.
Chanting ‘every day’ from the shrine, hundreds of mostly men without masks, some still wearing high-visibility clothing like in days earlier, had marched through the city to the war memorial on Wednesday