The Associated Press reports major demonstrations against a renewal of lockdowns in Australia:
SYDNEY (AP) — Thousands of people took to the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities on Saturday to protest lockdown restrictions amid another surge in cases, and police made several arrests after crowds broke through barriers and threw plastic bottles and plants.
The unmasked participants marched from Sydney’s Victoria Park to Town Hall in the central business district, carrying signs calling for “freedom” and “the truth.”
There was a heavy police presence in Sydney, including mounted police and riot officers in response to what authorities said was unauthorized protest activity. Police confirmed a number of arrests had been made after objects were thrown at officers.
New South Wales Police said it recognized and supported the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly, but the protest was a breach of public health orders.
Like those here the Australian authorities blame the protests on Rupert Murdoch but I suspect it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Consider this. You’ve prevented a major outbreak of COVID-19 through stringent lockdowns. Now what? At risk of stating the obvious new cases of COVID-19 will be most common where the fewest people have been vaccinated against the disease. The vaccination rate in both Australia and New Zealand is below 20% of the population compared with 50% here. The price of success of the lockdowns in preventing spread of the disease? Pretty obviously they’re getting pushback on reinstating the lockdowns and vaccination hasn’t been that big a priority for them.