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Australia Hundreds of protesters set to defy Victoria's lockdown to attend anti-mask rally

00:08  07 august  2020
00:08  07 august  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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Hundreds of protesters are vowing to ignore Victoria's coronavirus public health orders to attend an anti-mask rally this weekend.

Police say they will not tolerate the "selfish" behaviour.

The "Freedom Day Celebration" is scheduled for Sunday in Melbourne by organisers who reportedly believe a conspiracy that COVID-19 is a "biochemical" weapon.

a group of people in a city: Police are vowing to crackdown on a planned protest in Melbourne on Sunday following a rally at the Shrine of Remembrance on July 31. © Nine Police are vowing to crackdown on a planned protest in Melbourne on Sunday following a rally at the Shrine of Remembrance on July 31.

More than 400 people have expressed interest in the so-called freedom rally on the steps of Parliament on Sunday.

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They are anti-masker, anti-vaccination and anti-business shutdowns, but police say the planned action is a blatant breach of Victoria's Chief Health Officer's directions.

It comes as a new poll has shown that more than half of Australians surveyed believe police should have the power to fine those who spread COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

The latest 9Nation poll exclusive to nine.com.au revealed that 56 per cent of those surveyed think Australian police should be able to penalise those who intentionally induce chaos using misinformation

Police have warned the protesters they will not hesitate to hand out $1652 fines and make arrests.

"This selfish behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated," Victoria Police said in a statement.

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"Be assured Victoria Police will be responding and will take appropriate action.

"There will be a highly visible presence in and around the city to ensure the community is complying with stage four restrictions.

"We will have no hesitation in issuing $1,652 fines or making arrests on the day, if necessary.

"Police are also making enquiries into the organisers of this event and we will be holding them to account."

Officers issued a $1600 fine to a Hoppers Crossing woman accused of protesting with her daughter at the weekend.

Last Friday, police moved on anti-mask protesters holding Australian flags who gathered at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.

About 30 people gathered at the city landmark just and held a minute's silence.

The protesters said their motivation was to "exercise their claim to freedom".

Your biggest stage four questions answered .
For the first time in history Melbourne is living under a curfew as part of strict stage four restrictions. The sweeping changes announced yesterday threw up a lot of questions and will greatly disrupt the daily lives of Victorians.We've answered some of your most common questions, for metro Melbourne (now in stage four) and regional Victoria (soon to be in stage three).Metropolitan Melbourne - stage four restrictionsCan I go to a store 5km away from my home?In short, no. You can only travel up to 5km from your home.

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This is interesting!