Mass protests erupted Sunday in Sydney and other cities across Australia as thousands of people took to the streets to protest the continued COVID-19 lockdowns in the country.
Sydney has already been subject to a four week lockdown, and last week New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the city would extend its lockdown until July 30, causing thousands of residents to march in the streets in protest of the restrictions, according to The Hill.
During the protests, many people were heard chanting “freedom,” and signs with phrases like “unmask the truth” and “no forced vaccines, no vax passports” were seen among the crowd. Some violence also broke out as protesters clashed with police officers who tried to disband the demonstrations, the outlet reported. (RELATED: State Department Official Claims Cuban Anti-Government Protest Are About COVID-19, Not The Communist Regime)
#Australia | Thousands of people took out anti-lockdown protests in Sydney, demanding an end to the city’s lockdown, which is entering its fifth week. The protests turned violent as protesters threw potted plants and water bottles at police offices@alysonle tells you more pic.twitter.com/I8NzGJzkKh
— WION (@WIONews) July 24, 2021
In Sydney, 57 people have already been arrested and charged, and police are putting together a group of detectives to analyze footage from social media to identify and punish anyone else who defied the lockdown orders in order to protest, according to Television New Zealand.
“Police will be contacting people from tonight to have to answer for themselves and their behaviour, particularly the ringleaders,” said New South Wales (NSW) Police Minister David Elliott.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also said in a statement that the protestors had shown “utter contempt for their fellow citizens.”
“This type of activity during lockdown will not be tolerated and the full force of the law will be brought against anyone who engages in this type of illegal activity,” she said, according to TVNZ. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Inside The Push To Lock Down America… Again)
In Melbourne, thousands of protesters marched downtown chanting “freedom,” and some people lit flares as they gathered outside Victoria state’s Parliament House with banners including one held by protestors that read, “This is not about a virus it’s about total government control of the people,” The Associated Press reported.
NEW 🚨 Scenes from large anti-lockdown protest rally in Sydney, Australia pic.twitter.com/THIKJKXOHK
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 24, 2021
Massive protests also broke out in France last week over coronavirus restrictions as thousands of people gathered in Paris to protest the country’s new announcement that health care workers would be required to get vaccinated and “COVID passes” would be required for any activities involving more than 50 people.