A 76-year-old man has been charged over a planned protest in Melbourne, as police warn those inciting public gatherings to stop being “selfish”.
A 76-year-old man has been charged over a planned protest in Melbourne, as police warn those inciting public gatherings to stop being "selfish".
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said the man from Windsor had been charged with inciting others to breach the Chief Health Officer's directions over a protest against Melbourne's lockdowns planned for September 5.
Mr Cornelius said police were poised to take further action after several members of the community marched in the streets of Melbourne during stage four restrictions under the guise of exercise.
He said the event was "selfish and foolish" considering the death toll in the state was nearing 500.
"No one has the human right to infect other people and to place the entire Victorian community at risk," Mr Cornelius said.
"We will be ready to take action.
"We're not idiots, and the rest of Victorians are not idiots."
He said pretending to exercise would not trick police and that any protester faced serious ramifications.
"Stop playing us and the wider community for fools," he said.
"Just for one moment stop thinking about yourselves."
Mr Cornelius said police have tried to sway organisers to cancel or postpone the protest, and warned social media was being monitored for further planning.
"The tin hat foil wearing brigade are alive and well out there," he said, labelling the conspiracy theories as "bats--- crazy nonsense".
He said protests in the suburb Dandenong over the past five days had wasted police resources.
"Those hundreds of police are taken from your local police stations," he said.
"That's why this behaviour is so selfish. It takes critical resources from local communities.
"Spare a thought for the loved ones of the nearly 500 Victorians who have died so far."
Numerous fines have been issued in Dandenong, and there have been multiple arrests, he said.
Mr Cornelius said normally police are willing to work with organisers of protests, but this plan was "utterly selfish".
"We'll be arresting them. Their feet won't touch the ground."
Victoria recorded 113 new COVID-19 cases overnight, and 12 people died.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-police-warn-protesters-september-5-after-man-arrested/5d0ceeec-aa6e-419a-93af-990c69771013