Hundreds converge on CBD to rally against restrictions, vaccine rollout

Hundreds of people converged on central Melbourne on Saturday to protest against the coronavirus vaccine rollout and government health policies.

The protesters, part of the Worldwide Rally for Freedom, gathered at Flagstaff Gardens around midday.

Protestors took issue with health restrictions and walked along Bourke Street Mall on Saturday. Credit:Nine News

They later stopped traffic on a number of roads carrying signs that read messages such as “say no to the prick” as they walked Flinders Street and the Bourke Street Mall, flanked by police.

Footage showed some demonstrators attempting to cross a police line at the steps of Parliament House.

But police said they were “pleased” overall with the behaviour of the crowd.

“The majority of participants were compliant with the Chief Health Officer restrictions,” a Victorian Police spokeswoman said.

Police arrested one man who allegedly assaulted an officer and released him with charges expected on summons.

A woman was also removed from the crowd for breach of the peace.

The rally is the latest in a number of protests by groups unhappy about the way the coronavirus pandemic is being handled.

An Anti-Vax Rally in Melbourne on Saturday. Credit:Nine News

In February, anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police at Oakleigh Mall and police arrested 20 anti-vaccination protesters at a demonstration at South Yarra’s Fawkner Park.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has called for people to ignore anti-vaxxers, saying that the vaccination program is “our way out of this” pandemic.

“I would encourage all those individuals who have seen information that they are unsure about the legitimacy of that information to go to trusted individuals, go to your GP … go to trusted information sources,” Professor Sutton said last month.

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