An anti-lockdown protester waving Australian, British and American flags was tackled to the ground as he belted out John Farnham’s hit ‘You’re the Voice’ at Victoria Police.
The footage, which was posted to Twitter by user “Cam Smith” yesterday, appears to have been filmed in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens during “Freedom Day” protests.
“I’m the voice try and understand it,” the man, who has a GoPro strapped to his chest, sings off-key as more than 10 officers approach. “I’m makin’ a noise and I’m makin’ it clear, woah-oh-oh-oh-oh.”
He shouts at bystanders, “Are we going to sit in silence and sit in fear?”, as officers rip his megaphone away.
“What for? What for?” he yells as they tackle him.
The man’s companion, who is filming the scene, speaks calmly to an officer as his friend is subdued in the background.
Asked if he’s aware of the restrictions, he says, “I know we’ve got no freedom at all, yeah. You’ve totally taken our freedom. Not allowed to go 5km, not allowed to walk without a mask.”
An officer notes that the men were arrested in the same spot last week.
“That’s it, we are here to protest,” he says.
“We’re here to protest against our loss of freedom. This is Melbourne, I didn’t think we’re in North Korea.”
He asks the officer, “Are you guys happy to do this? Can you believe the government? They’re telling lies about everything else.”
Fourteen people were arrested and at least 51 were fined during anti-lockdown protests across Melbourne on Saturday, including a so-called “Freedom Walk” in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The previous Saturday’s “Freedom Day Rally” at the Shrine of Remembrance and Albert Park was more heavily attended and resulted in violent scuffles, 17 arrests and more than 160 fines.
There were far more dramatic scenes on Sunday, with riot police descending on Queen Victoria Market where some 200 to 250 people had gathered. Almost 200 people were fined and 74 were arrested.
From Monday, Victoria has begun easing some of the harsh stage four coronavirus restrictions, which have been in place since August 2, as part of a staged plan under Premier Daniel Andrews’ road map out of lockdown.