In a damning statement ahead of further expected protests this weekend, anti-lockdown demonstrators in Melbourne have blamed Victoria Police for spreading coronavirus.
Protesters are expected to hit the locked-down capital for a third weekend in a row, with this morning Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent warning that the police will once again be in effect.
In an email to the police, the protest organisers told cops that “that if we refuse to allow them (to protest) we‘ll be jeopardising the safety of others and Victoria Police would be putting all Victorians at risk and (be) responsible for the continued spread of the virus”, Mr Nugent said.
In their statement this afternoon, the organisers wrote: “We suggested to (Assistant Police Commissioner) Luke Cornelius that a potential approach to reducing the risk of virus transmission at protesting events would be greatly reduced if the police were not forced to respond to the actions of desperate Victorians in such an aggressive and overbearing manner.”
They called on chief health officer Brett Sutton “to modify the rules to allow for a safe and socially distanced protest to occur”.
“If Brett Sutton is legitimately pursuing the lowest possible risk of community transmission, then the only viable method of reducing the impact of anti lockdown protests is to allow them to occur in a manner which would not expose the community to a high degree of risk,” they wrote.
“Forcing protesters and police together in close confines and physical contact is an extremely irresponsible requirement that is being laid at the feet of Victoria Police at the behest of the Chief Health Officer.
“We urge the Chief Health Officer to consider the substantial risk that is placing upon grieving protesters and worn down by police by continuing to completely undermine political freedom in our state.”