Anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protesters have dispersed after a day of turbulent demonstrations in Melbourne, as persistent rallies continue despite hundreds of arrests in recent weeks.
Riot police converged across inner Melbourne on Saturday after groups of protesters attempted to storm multiple locations, with several arrests made.
Despite their best attempts, protesters were outnumbered and outsmarted by police, attempting to change their locations through encrypted messaging – bids that were thwarted several times.
The protesters, who originally planned to meet at Princes Park, were repeatedly met by police, including officers on horseback.
Camera IconAn anti-lockdown protester being detained by police in Princess Park. NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray Credit: News Corp Australia
Camera IconIt’s believed police arrested several protesters. NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray Credit: News Corp Australia
Police constantly moved across the city ahead of the protesters, quickly dispersing groups and questioning locals about their addresses.
Roadblocks were also set up checking people’s addresses.
It’s believed several arrests were made over the course of the day.
A maskless man who was arrested told officers to send him a “f**king shitty fine” as they handcuffed him and took his dog, according to the Herald Sun.
One man, posing as a member of the press, told the man he did a great job as he filmed his arrest.
Camera IconPolice continually outsmarted the protesters. NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray Credit: News Corp Australia
Camera IconProtesters attempted to change locations but were repeatedly met by police. NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray Credit: News Corp Australia
It comes after police warned they would be out in force in an attempt to quash any chaos.
“There will be a highly visible police presence in the Melbourne CBD, on the roads and across the public transport network on Saturday,” a police spokesperson said.
“Those who choose to blatantly disregard the CHOs directions and put the health and safety of all Victorians in jeopardy can expect to be held accountable.”
Camera IconPolice had earlier warned they would be out in force. NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray Credit: News Corp Australia
Camera IconRiot police and officers on horseback patrolled the city. NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray Credit: News Corp Australia
More than 600 people have been arrested at illegal protests across the city since last month.
Protesters had vowed to return to the CBD every day until their demands were met, but multiple protests have been quashed after major gatherings in Richmond, the West Gate Bridge and the Shrine of Remembrance.
It comes after demonstrators trashed the CFMEU office in Elizabeth St following a march through Richmond and Kew where they clashed with police.
Police have since largely quashed the rallies, stopping people randomly to check for IDs.
Hundreds of people were arrested in the violent demonstrations.Internet Explorer Channel Network