Furious anti-lockdown protestors descend on Australian Open ahead of Victoria’s ‘circuit-breaker’ Covid restrictions (VIDEO)
Anti-lockdown protestors gathered outside the Australian Open in Melbourne Park ahead of the beginning of so-called 'circuit-breaker restrictions' being implemented to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Victoria premier Daniel Andrews announced plans for the five-day lockdown which is set to begin at 11.59pm local time and run until the same time on Wednesday, amid what is being described as a "hyper-infectious" spate of cases at the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport.Also on rt.com Fans forced to leave Australian Open MIDWAY THROUGH Djokovic match as Covid-19 sends Melbourne into lockdown
Per local reports, Victoria Police were on hand at the scene as the protestors marched towards Melbourne Park - with many of the crowd displaying signs which read "Victoria Says No", "Masks Are Muzzles" and "Australia Open, Victoria Closed."
This will be the third lockdown experienced by Victorians since the start of the pandemic. The wearing of face masks is mandatory for everywhere in the state except within one's home.
Various videos shared on social media show the mostly maskless protestors marching through Melbourne's Central Business District and towards Melbourne Park reciting various anti-lockdown phrases and songs - but when asked earlier this week about the prospect of large protests, Andrews was critical of the methodology being employed by the angry crowd.
"Is that like a vaccine, is it?" he said to local radio. "It’s going to suddenly fix everything? No, it’s not. It might well spread the virus, though."
Anti-lockdown protesters have gathered outside Melbourne Park. @3AW693#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/5GmsDK5ayj— Jordan Tunbridge (@JordanTunbridge) February 12, 2021
Anti-lockdown protest. Crowd is on the move. Organisers say they’re going to the Australian Open. @9NewsMelbpic.twitter.com/3qZbKxBZGY— Eliza Rugg (@Eliza_Rugg9) February 12, 2021
"I know it’s not the news that Victorians want to hear today," Andrews said of the newest lockdown.
"I know it’s not the place that we wanted to be in. However, we’ve all given so much, we’ve all done so much. We've built something precious, and we have to make difficult decisions, and do difficult things, in order to defend what we’ve built.
"I am confident that this short, sharp circuit breaker will be effective. We will be able to smother this. We will be able to prevent it getting away from us."Also on rt.com Victoria headed for new 5-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown as state bans public gatherings & limits travel
However, many local residents appear to be growing weary of the perceived overreach of Andrews' government. The hashtag #DictatorDan began trending on social media, while numerous industries and businesses have detailed the economic impact that even a short lockdown can have on local society.
"We can’t go on managing the country like this," Business Council Australia (BCA) chief executive Jennifer Westacott said in stinging criticism of Andrews. "This is the second lockdown caused by Victoria’s hotel quarantine system, it must not be as long and destructive as the last. We must get hotel quarantine working properly."