Anti-vaccine protesters turned violent with arrests made as they marched through Melbourne’s leafy inner suburbs.
Hundreds of protesters brandishing signs gathered to protest coronavirus vaccines in Fawkner Park in South Yarra on Saturday.
They were met with a heavy police force including Air Wing and mounted officers who watched on during speeches on
One speaker told the crowd it was a “non-existent pandemic” and there was no medical or scientific evidence to back that claim.
“This is experimental bio warfare on the people,” she said.
The group brought traffic to a standstill on Toorak Road before turning onto St Kilda.
Chants of “freedom, freedom, freedom” rang out during the March.
But they also yelled abuse at reporters and targeted TV crews before turning on police.
“You can report the real news,” they yelled as one woman got arrested.
At least four arrests were made with one man dragged away after storming a suburban cricket match.
Officers were seen flooding the pitch as they worked to get him away, the man heard telling police to “f*** off” as they tried to put a mask on him.
Protestors chanted “we will not comply” during the event and likened those being vaccinated to “farm animals” and “slaves”.
“We are not Scott Morrison’s chickens,” one speaker told the crowd.
After speakers addressed the crowd, the group began to march in a loop around the park, shutting down Toorak Road as police on horseback worked to keep them all together.
Protestors were pepper sprayed after officers arrested a man on St Kilda Road.
Rally-goers could be heard yelling at police: “Shame on you” as people were arrested.
A photographer and journalists were handcuffed by officers wearing media badges but later released.
It is not clear why they were arrested.
The Melbourne Freedom Rally group posted unfounded claims on social media about the coronavirus vaccine about fertility and the FDA had not approved the use of the vaccine.
Australia is expected to begin the vaccinating first responders on Monday.
Most of the crowd dispersed by 3pm.