Australia 'Utterly disgusted': Berejiklian blasts illegal protesters

04:21  25 july  2021
04:21  25 july  2021 Source:   9news.com.au

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 22: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian leaves a COVID-19 update press conference on July 22, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Lockdown restrictions have been further tightened as NSW continues to record new community COVID-19 cases and work to stop the spread of the highly infectious delta coronavirus strain in the community. New rules which came into effect at midnight on Saturday across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour require all non-essential retail to close. Businesses can still operate click and collect, takeaway and home delivery. In addition to stay at home orders, residents in the local government areas of  Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool cannot leave their areas for work except for emergency services and healthcare workers. Where those workers do need to leave their local government area for work, they are required to be tested every three days, even if they do not have symptoms. Residents of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong are subject to stay-at-home orders with people are only permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons. Essential reasons include purchasing essential goods, accessing or providing care or healthcare, essential work, education or exercise. Exercise is restricted to within the local government area and no further than 10km from home and with a maximum of two people per group. Browsing in shops is prohibited and only one person per household can leave home for shopping per day. Outdoor public gatherings are limited to two people, while funerals are limited to 10 people only. The restrictions are expected to remain in place until 11:59 pm on Friday 30 July. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images): NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images) © 2021 Getty Images NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has blasted people who attended an illegal protest in Sydney's CBD yesterday, saying she is "utterly disgusted" by the chaos that unfolded.

Ms Berejiklian said that the "selfish" protesters' actions have "compromised the safety" of all NSW residents, and warned that those caught by police will feel the full weight of the law.

"I am utterly disgusted by the illegal protests in the city today whose selfish actions have compromised the safety of us all," she said.

"The protesters have shown utter contempt for their fellow citizens who are currently doing it tough.

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"This type of activity during lockdown will not be tolerated and the full force of the law will be brought against anyone who engages in this type of illegal activity."

Yesterday, thousands of people descended on Sydney's CBD to protest against COVID-19 vaccinations and the state's lockdown laws.

a group of people crossing a busy city street: Anti-lockdown protesters storm Brisbane © 9News Anti-lockdown protesters storm Brisbane

Marchers started at Victoria Park, Camperdown, where police tried to contain the crowds, but were soon outnumbered.

The group soon left the park and made their way up George St, where the situation quickly unravelled and turned violent.

Dozens of people were witnessed assaulting officers, destroying public property, chanting anti-government sentiment and climbing onto shop awnings.

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One man was captured on camera punching a police horse.

Others were seen burning the Australian flag.

Police have since confirmed that almost 60 people have been arrested and charged in relation to the event, which was in direct breach of public health orders.

This morning, two more men were charged with animal cruelty after allegedly striking police horses.

More than 90 infringements have been issued.

An exasperated Police Minister David Elliott said police had already established a 22 detective strong task force to track down the 3500 "very selfish boofheads".

He also urged anyone who attended the protest to get tested for COVID-19.

Experts have warned there is a high possibility a number of attendees were positive with COVID-19, therefore potentially creating a super-spreading event.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys had earlier flagged the event as "disastrous."

Few face masks were seen throughout the day and limited social distancing was practiced.

Police will continue to use social media among other means to determine who was involved in the violence at the rally.

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