Melbourne police arrest 200 at COVID-19 lockdown protests

SYDNEY, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Police in Australia’s second largest city of Melbourne arrested more than 200 people after projectiles thrown by protesters injured two officers on Wednesday, the third consecutive day of demonstrations against COVID-19 curbs.

Golf balls, batteries and bottles were among the items thrown at police during the protests held in defiance of stay-at home orders after a two-week closure of building sites to rein in infections, which rose again in the state of Victoria.

Police are bracing for more demonstrations in the next few days, said deputy commissioner Ross Guenther, adding that the motives of some participants had seemed unclear.

“There weren’t as many tradies involved…there are other small breakaway groups that see benefit in hijacking these things,” Guenther told reporters.

“We’ve got plenty of resources. We will vary our tactics tomorrow, if that is what we need to do, but of course, my message is, ‘Don’t come into the city.'”

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Source: Reuters