Freedom rallies took place across Australia this weekend, despite police threatening heavy fines and jail sentences for organisers and attendees.
Around 20,000 gathered to peacefully protest in Brisbane and has taken a route twice as long as the Freedom Rally in July.
Beginning at the Botanical Gardens, protesters walked alongside Parliament House and then down into the retail heart of Brisbane, flooding Queen Street Mall.
Police closed the main streets and allowed the protest to move along unimpeded. They maintained communication with protesters and their organisers throughout with no incidents of violence reported.
"Marching with all these people in Brisbane for people's rights is amazing," said Rebel News reporter, Yasmin Sawyer.
The Rebel News team on the ground were inundated with people thanking them for covering the event. Subscribe to Rebel News Australia for an exclusive report on the Brisbane lockdown protest coming soon.
The situation has turned violent in parts of the Melbourne protest, with reports that police have fired rubber bullets into the crowd.
Thousands came out to march for two and a half hours until police broke the group apart and started hunting down stragglers. Tear gas and pepper spray was deployed against both the media and protestors, including Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini.
The Freedom Day protest is part of a global movement to free nations from the draconian health orders crippling economies and dismantling established human rights requirements.
Australian premiers and their corresponding police forces have denied permission for the protest. Prominent figures from the last rally have been warned off attending today's event by police visits during the week.
Dozens of Sydney protestors are currently being arrested in Victoria Park, Glebe as part of a NSW Police operation.
Rebel News also had a team on the ground in Sydney to cover the day. Subscribe to Rebel News Australia for an exclusive report on the Sydney lockdown protest coming soon.
1,500 police and special units have flooded into the Sydney CBD, blocking major roads and train stations.
Ride-share companies and taxi services have been told not to bring anyone into the city between 9am – 3pm unless they can prove that they are an essential worker. Fines for companies who fail to comply are around half a million dollars.
Trains have been instructed not to stop at Sydney’s major stations including Wynyard, Town Hall, Redfern, Martin Place, Circular Quay, St James, and Museum – essentially cutting off service to the city.
On Friday, a 29 year-old Victorian man was sentenced to a maximum of eight month’s prison for his part in organising the Freedom Day protest.
Detectives from the North Shore Police Area Command investigated breaches of the public health orders and found that the man had travelled between Queensland and Sydney in preparation for today’s protest in Sydney.
The man pleaded guilty to four counts of ‘failing to comply with NSW public health orders’.
This came on the same day that NSW Police announced that they support people’s right to protest, unless that protest is deemed illegal under Covid health orders.
“Police have previously indicated that we’re not opposed to free speech,” said Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon. “We are absolutely opposed to a protest that potentially jeopardises the freedom of vast majority of the community who continue to do the right thing.”
The government and the police have presented a united front against ‘Covid rule breakers’, with both agreeing to even harsher restrictions due to start across the state on Monday.
“Whatever the police want, it’s my obligation to support them,” said Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott, during a Sky News interview on Friday.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian fronted a press conference to plead with Australians, as Covid figures continue to rise to their highest day so far.
“It really breaks my heart here are some of the stories but the bottom line is they know they are doing it for the greater good. I appeal to everybody, please consider the greater good. Only a handful of people are doing the wrong thing but it is having catastrophic consequences,” said Berejiklian.
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