Melbourne, Australia: 74 arrested, 176 fined for participating in anti-lockdown protesters

Over 70 people were arrested in Australia’s Melbourne for violating coronavirus restrictions to attend an anti-lockdown protest.

About 250 people gathered at the central Queen Victoria market, and demanded an end to lockdown in the city.

Police said they arrested 74 people at Sunday’s protest, and fined 176 others. On Saturday they had arrested 14 people.

Police added, “many protestors were aggressive and threatened violence towards officers”.

The demonstrations come as the state of Victoria prepares to ease its lockdown restrictions, which have been in place since early July.

Victoria has been the epicentre of Australia’s Covid-19 outbreak, accounting for 75% of cases and 90% of deaths.

The state has extended a state of disaster for another month, giving the police extra powers to enforce public health orders.

Victoria’s State Parliament building has also been forced to close “until further notice” after a security guard tested positive for the virus.

Australia has had a total of 26,600 confirmed cases and more than 800 deaths from the virus.