Police have arrested the organisers of a planned protest against the governments COVID-19 restrictions that was scheduled for Aug. 9 in Melbournes CBD.
Victoria police charged two men in their 40s with “incitement” for their connection to the scheduled rally at Melbournes Parliament House that would have potentially seen hundreds of people breach the Chief Health Officers directions to keep physical distancing and stay at home.
A Victoria Police statement confirmed that “two search warrants were executed” on Aug. 6, during which mobile phones and a computer were confiscated at properties in Mooroolbark and Chirnside Park, media officer Creina OGrady told The Epoch Times by email.
“As a result, a 41-year-old male from Mooroolbark was charged with incitement. He was bailed and is due to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 21 January 2021,” and “a 41-year-old male from Chirnside Park was also arrested last night.”
Victoria police have issued a firm warning to anyone planning to attend the protest this weekend, stating that “selfish behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated … will be responding and will take appropriate action.”
“We will have no hesitation in issuing $1,652 (US$1,185) fines or making arrests on the day, if necessary,” said a Victoria police statement.
Since Aug. 4, penalties for breaching COVID-19 social distancing orders increased to $4,957 as part of a wider crackdown on citizens breaching stage four restrictions.
Police and Australian Defence Force presence on the streets of Melbourne has also increased.
As Victoria entered a state of disaster status on Aug. 2, stage four restrictions started to come into place across Greater Melbourne in response to growing community transmissions of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.
Melbournians Live Under Strict Controls
Melburnians have been put under a curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the next several weeks of the hard lockdown. Exercising outdoors has been limited to a maximum of one hour a day and people have been told to stay within 5 km (3.1 miles) of their homes unless its for work or care-giving.