Sam Newman has backflipped after being pressured by police to encourage 250,000 Victorians to oppose the stage four coronavirus shutdown from the state government.
“Of all the protests that we have put up with, how about 1/4 million of us gather in the CBD to take the City/State back, before EVERY previous march will have been pointless,” Newman posted to Twitter on Sunday.
But after police said they would gaol those involved, Newman, 74, said his comments were “hyperbole” on Tuesday morning, and cancelled his call to arms.
“It was hyperbole, it was an arbitrary figure,” Newman told Sunrise.
“I said wouldn’t it be great to have 250,000 people wandering through the city – I don’t encourage people to do that but it was just a sign that this government should cautiously reopen business enterprises in the city before it rusts over.
“I didn’t encourage a quarter of a million people to march through the street … I said theoretically wouldn’t it be a great idea.
“I’m not asking people to come from all over Victoria to protest and I’m not trying to get the police involved.
“If they want to arrest me and put me in jail for this, that’s fine.
“But I’m not suggesting it and never did in the first place.”
“Victoria Police is actively investigating those responsible for coordinating and encouraging protest activity on Saturday,” police said.