The Informer: Anti-lockdown protests erupt as rogue elements risk the rest of us again

Anti-lockdown protesters clash with members of Victoria Police in Richmond. Picture: Getty
Anti-lockdown protesters clash with members of Victoria Police in Richmond. Picture: Getty

Law-abiding Australians must be shaking their heads in unison.

Yet again, the rogue elements in this country are apparently seeking freedom in a way that risks resulting in those of us who do the right thing being restricted for longer.

With significant swathes of the population currently subjected to lockdowns, what happened on Saturday would dismay most.

Rowdy rebels, many not wearing face masks, took to the streets in Sydney and Melbourne to protest against public health measures designed to protect people.

They clashed with police as they defied orders to stay at home unless out for essential reasons.

A video taken in Melbourne, and posted on social media, shows an unruly mob charging at officers and trampling one who was knocked to the ground.

This weekend's protests are, unfortunately, not the first of their kind and authorities in various places had sought to stop them before they got going.

As NSW Police Minister David Elliott said on Friday, "there is no doubt that these protests are a risk to public health - for the community, for police as well as for the individual health of the protesters themselves".

"We've seen past protesters end up contracting COVID-19, so anyone who is still considering protesting needs take a good hard look at themselves," he said.

One of that state's deputy police commissioners, Mal Lanyon, urged people not to be selfish.

"I would again appeal to the community to do your part to protect your loved ones and the wider community by staying at home, unless you are complying with the requirements of the public health order," he said.

Those of us who listen to these sensible warnings can only hope they eventually sink in elsewhere.

In the meantime, about all we can do is be thankful for those who have to jeopardise their own safety in a bid to contain the risk posed by the disorderly.

Saturday's scenes were accompanied by the news NSW has now racked up more than 50,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

There were 1882 new infections reported across the country.

In news not involving the coronavirus, a young political staffer has faced court on two rape charges, and a gun was fired into a unit where a child slept as two men struggled over the weapon.

But before you go thinking it's all doom and gloom out there, have a read of this miraculous survival story that ended with an oil tanker captain being recognised for rescuing two men from shark-infested waters.

It seems the sea is the place to see the brighter side of life today.

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This story Rogue elements risk the rest of us again first appeared on The Canberra Times.