Police make first arrests as protesters plan to march outside Luna Park in St Kilda
Police have made their first arrests as anti-lockdown protesters plan to meet outside Melbourne’s Luna Park and march through the streets of St Kilda.
A group of officers placed a man in handcuffs about 12.25pm on Saturday as they led him away from the Melbourne landmark.
Shortly after that riot police officers chased and pinned down another man, while protesters spilled out onto Beach Road.
Earlier a busload of police officers arrived at the popular theme park just before noon, with police forming a line at the main entrance to Luna Park.
There appeared to be confusion among protesters communicating inside encrypted message chats, with some people commenting they were in the CBD and “no one else was around”.
Others were warning each other about the police presence in St Kilda and around Luna Park, as they planned ways to avoid arrests.
Protest organisers have usually waited until 11am in past rallies to drop a location, but no precise area has been named.
Saturday’s protest threat followed a series of riots throughout the week in Melbourne, with planned “freedom rallies” also scheduled to go ahead in Sydney.
Protesters vandalised the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne on Monday, while some people hurled bottles, flares and rocks through the CBD streets on Tuesday before hijacking the West Gate Bridge.
They then marched again on Wednesday desecrating Melbourne’s shrine of remembrance.
But protests on Thursday and Friday fizzled as the number of people attending plummeted.
Organisers have vowed to stage marches daily until construction workers were allowed back on the job following Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews ordering the entire industry to shut down for at least two weeks.
Victoria Police have been contacted for comment.
Meanwhile in NSW, police were forced to move along revellers who illegally gathered en-masse at beaches along Sydney’s east.
Officers were dispatched to Manly about 7.30pm on Friday over reports “crowd numbers were increasing”.
Police issued multiple move-on directions along with three infringements for breaches of public health orders.
Originally published as Police make first arrests as protesters plan to march outside Luna Park in St Kilda
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