Melbourne police fire pepper balls, pellets to break up COVID-19 protest

(Corrects paragraph 1 day of the week to Tuesday, not Thursday)

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Police in Melbourne fired pepper balls and rubber pellets on Tuesday to disperse about 2,000 protesters who defied stay-at- home orders to damage property, block a busy freeway and injure three officers, leading to more than 60 arrests.

It was the second day of demonstrations in the locked-down Australian city after authorities shut construction sites for two weeks, saying workers' frequent movement was spreading the coronavirus.

During eight hours of downtown protests, demonstrators threw rocks, bottles and flares at police, as television and social media showed video of marchers chanting and attacking police cars, surrounded by mounted police and officers in riot gear.

“This was a very, very large and very, very angry group,” Shane Patton, police commissioner in the southeastern state of Victoria, told reporters, adding that the protest breached COVID-19 lockdown rules.

“And it was a challenging and confronting environment,” he added, urging people to stay away on Wednesday.

Protesters included not only construction workers but opponents of mandatory vaccinations and Victoria's extended lockdown, who cursed the jab, state premier Dan Andrews and the workers' union leader, who had backed vaccination for members.

“Acts of violence and disruption won't result in one less case of COVID – in fact it only helps the virus to spread,” Andrews said in a statement.

The halt in building activities followed a protest against a vaccine mandate that turned violent on Monday. The state requires all construction workers to receive at least one vaccine dose by the end of this week.

“The public health team was left with no choice but to hit the pause button and continue to work with the sector over the next two weeks to improve compliance,” state Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters.

The forced closures of building sites will worsen Australia's economic woes, with some economists forecasting the extended lockdowns could push the A$2 trillion ($1.45 trillion) economy into a second recession in as many years.

Australia has locked down its largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne, as well as the capital, Canberra, to rein in an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant.

But the tough curbs have triggered anti-lockdown rallies with police arresting hundreds in both cities over the weekend.

Tuesday's 603 new infections in Victoria were the highest daily figure this year, with one new death was recorded.

Authorities have begun to ease some strictures on outdoor gatherings and exercise in Sydney and Melbourne as vaccination rates rise, with more freedom promised once 70% to 80% of adults in the population have received both vaccine doses.

Until now, 53% have been fully vaccinated in the state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, while in Victoria the coverage is 44%.

New South Wales reported 1,022 new infections, the majority in Sydney, its capital, up from Monday's figure of 935, and 10 deaths.

Even with the Delta outbreaks, Australia's COVID-19 infections are lower than many comparable nations, with 88,700 cases and 1,178 deaths.


(Reporting by Renju Jose; Additional reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Michael Perry and Clarence Fernandez)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Ads for The Workers Union banned for implying it was a trade union

© Provided by Evening Standard The Workers Union website. (ASA/PA) Ads for an employment-related services company called The Workers Union have been banned for misleadingly implying it was a trade ... Read more »

Activision Blizzard fired 20 employees for 'patterns' of harassment and discrimination

© Associated Press Associated Press Activision Blizzard has fired 20 employees over harassment and discrimination issues. Activision disciplined another 20 employees and announced a variety of internal changes. The changes ... Read more »

Officials scrambling to pull together new set of guidelines for nightclubs

Officials at the Department of Tourism and Culture are scrambling to pull together a new set of guidelines for nightclubs so they can reopen in 48 hours. Confusion reigned yesterday ... Read more »

British Museum dish found to be rare Chinese artefact

© Provided by Evening Standard 00365963_001 A stoneware dish on display at the British Museum that was previously thought to be Korean has been identified as the “rarest of all ... Read more »

FCA finds 'hype' and competitiveness drive younger investors to high risk

© Provided by City AM Three quarters of younger investors in the UK who place their bets on high-risk products, such as cryptocurrencies, say they are driven by “competition” with ... Read more »

UK appeals for help finding homes for Afghan refugees

Councils and businesses across the UK are being urged to provide homes and jobs for Afghan refugees to help reduce the number of people stuck in temporary accommodation. Victoria Atkins, ... Read more »

Klopp: I don't care how we won - dirty wins are most vital!

© Getty Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool’s eventful 3-2 win at Atletico as “dirty” Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool’s thrilling 3-2 win at 10-man Atletico Madrid as “dirty”, but says those types ... Read more »

‘Misleading' British Gas HomeCare service ads banned

British Gas ads for its HomeCare Cover service have been banned for the misleading suggestion that emergency callouts were available to all customers at short notice. Two TV ads in ... Read more »

Cabinet Minister Reveals Someone Threatened To Burn Down Her House

MPs’ safety has been called in question following Amess’s killing on Friday, which took place during a surgery in his constituency. (Photo: Leon Neal via Getty Images) A cabinet minister ... Read more »

Vegas lawyers: 2 sides to Flavor Flav domestic battery case

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Entertainer Flavor Flav will fight a misdemeanor domestic battery charge stemming from a scuffle with his girlfriend at home in suburban Las Vegas, his attorneys said ... Read more »

When to go Christmas shopping in stores like Primark and Poundland to get the best deals revealed

HIGH streets up and down the country will be buzzing with shoppers with bags full of presents as the festive season approaches. But timing is everything – you could find ... Read more »

Record sales boost Very Group as it weighs up a £4bn listing

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo The group behind Littlewoods posted record-breaking annual sales as online shopping continued to boom.  The Very Group – which owns Very. ... Read more »

Hornets Honor Late Beat Reporter's Legacy With Annual Scholarship, Team Award

© Provided by Sports Illustrated Rick Bonnell, who covered the Hornets for the Charlotte Observer from the team’s inaugural season in 1988, unexpectedly died June 1. The Hornets announced its ... Read more »

AJ Raval stands by Aljur Abrenica amid his revelation about Kylie Padilla

© Provided by “Supportive girlfriend?” Ito ang reaksiyon ng ibang netizens matapos i-repost ni AJ Raval ang mainit na pahayag ni Aljur Abrenica para sa estranged wife na si ... Read more »

How the next mayor must clean up the tragic mess of NYC schools after 8 painful years of Bill de Blasio

In dismantling Gifted & Talented programs in city schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio has undermined classroom excellence. Paul Martinka After eight years of Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York’s K-12 ... Read more »

‘I learned about it from The Post': Dem Tom Suozzi blasts WH over secret migrant flights

A New York Democrat demanded answers from the Biden White House on Tuesday about the underage migrants being secretly slipped into his district — after finding out about the situation ... Read more »

Congressman from Nebraska indicted for lying to federal investigators

A federal grand jury on Tuesday charged Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska with scheming to falsify and conceal information from federal investigators who were looking into his 2016 campaign. The ... Read more »

Dinosaurs could be cloned after experts find fossil that may contain DNA

JURASSIC Park could become reality after experts unearthed a ­fossil that may contain dinosaur DNA. Scientists believe it may have the first prehistoric genetic code yet discovered. The birth of ... Read more »

EastEnders spoilers: Pregnant Chelsea Fox gets some surprising advice from Sharon Watts

EASTENDERS' expectant mum Chelsea Fox is in for a spot of parenting advice from Walford stalwart Sharon Watts. Spoiler images for the BBC One soap show the pair enjoying a ... Read more »

One dead, another critical after Sydney shooting

© Provided by ABC NEWS A crime scene was established after NSW Police were called to Osgood Street in Guildford. (ABC News) A man has been shot dead in a ... Read more »

One man dead, one critically injured after public Sydney shooting

One man is dead and another in a critical condition after a public shooting in Sydney’s south-west this morning. At about 8.55am, emergency services found two men in a car ... Read more »

21 Chicago cops put on 'no pay status' in vaccine standoff

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday that 21 officers have been placed on “no pay status” for refusing to comply with the city's order to disclose ... Read more »

Spared by bullets but not by PTSD, Parkland's other victims will have no voice in shooter's fate after guilty plea

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Elizabeth Stout was a victim of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but you won’t hear her name called out on Wednesday when ... Read more »

Eoin Morgan ready to drop himself boost T20 World Cup chances

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Eoin Morgan returns to action for England on Wednesday insisting he would drop himself if he thought it would help his team win the ... Read more »

ESPN's NBA standings page appears to be in alphabetical order as of 1995

The start of the NBA season means hope for all 30 teams. Everyone starts at 0-0 and until the first tip, they all have title aspirations. © Provided by Awful ... Read more »

Former Barcelona team-mates Messi and Ronaldinho share a warm embrace

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho were back on the pitch together on Tuesday night as the former Barcelona stars shared a warm embrace at ... Read more »

Lakers superstar Anthony Davis can alter title race with bounce-back season

Is there a player more important than Anthony Davis in the 2021-22 NBA season? Coming in at No. 10 in the latest edition of’s player rankings, there is no ... Read more »

Rajon Rondo Has 2 Big Goals For Anthony Davis This Year

The 2021-22 NBA season kicks off on Tuesday night with a massive contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors taking center stage. © Provided by The Spun ... Read more »

Pistons Announce Cade Cunningham's Status For Season Opener

There is significant excitement for No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham to star for the Detroit Pistons, but fans will have to wait some time to see him in action. © ... Read more »

Sydney News: Passengers injured in train derailment near Wollongong

Here’s what you need to know this morning. Four injured in train derailment Four people have been taken to hospital after a train derailment at Kembla Grange station in Wollongong. ... Read more »

Boris Johnson vows not to snub China and 'pitchfork away' cash

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Britain will not ‘pitchfork away’ investment from China, the Prime Minister vowed yesterday. Boris Johnson made the pledge despite concerns over Beijing’s human ... Read more »

'Tom taped up the door': Room sealed to contain 'aggressive' deadly stowaway snake found in Essex in shipping container

A deadly stowaway snake found its way to British shores after being found in a shipping container from India. © Other The snake was found in a shipping container. Pic: ... Read more »

Ben Simmons sent home from 76ers practice, gets suspended

Simmons isn’t happy in Philadelphia. Neither are his coaches. © Provided by LSU Tigers Wire It was announced earlier today that Ben Simmons has been suspended by the 76ers for ... Read more »

NBA 75 team: Full list of players revealed as league celebrates 75th anniversary season

Get ready to embrace debate, folks. The NBA 75 list is here. As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the league will be releasing a list featuring the 75 greatest players ... Read more »

Mark down these NBA season predictions: Kevin Durant will be MVP, Tyronn Lue is best coach and more

As the 2021-22 NBA season begins, here are my predictions for what will inevitably be another wild season around the league. 1. Champion Bucks will fly under radar, but charge ... Read more »

Investigation of Washington Football Team didn't include text messages

© Provided by NBC Sports While investigating the Washington Football Team’s workplace issues, attorney Beth Wilkinson stumbled over enough to get her to gather more than 650,000 emails that, per ... Read more »

Jan. 6 committee expected to recommend holding Bannon in contempt

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is expected to recommend holding longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the ... Read more »

Cowboys waive Nick Ralston to make room for La'el Collins

© Provided by NBC Sports The Cowboys waived fullback Nick Ralston on Tuesday, according to the NFL’s transactions report. Ralston has played the past four games, seeing one snap on ... Read more »

CL round-up: Messi double rescues PSG

Lionel Messi scored twice in quick succession, including an exquisite Panenka-style penalty, to rescue Paris Saint-Germain as they rallied to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 at the Parc des Princes. Messi ... Read more »

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Plymouth Argyle loss, team selection and Home Park pitch

Bolton Wanderers slipped to their third successive defeat in League One with a loss against table toppers Plymouth Argyle. Wanderers fell behind in the first half to a quickfire double ... Read more »