A man has been charged after he allegedly assaulted a police officer during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne’s CBD.
Victoria Police say they charged the 48-year-old Southbank man on Sunday after he attended the protest against the state’s sixth coronavirus lockdown last week.
He will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday charged with several offences including assaulting a police officer causing injury, affray, breaching the chief health officer’s directions and riotous behaviour.
A 24-year-old Footscray woman was also interviewed on Sunday. She is expected to be charged on summons with discharging a missile, breaching the chief health officer’s directions and riotous behaviour.
Police have also identified a man who lit a flare at the protest.
Hundreds of protesters marched through Melbourne’s CBD on Thursday night, chanting “sack Dan Andrews” and “no more lockdown”.
Fifteen people were arrested and 16 others were fined for various health directions breaches.
Four of those arrested or fined were known protest organisers and are expected to face court on charges such as incitement.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said the crowd was a similar mix to those who rallied in Melbourne on July 24, describing it as a small minority of “serial protesters” putting Victorian lives and livelihoods at risk.
“It was certainly volatile last night,” he said on Friday.
“Of course, there were concerned mums and dads, business owners who are very concerned about how the lockout is impacting their lives, how lockdowns impacted businesses.
“But there is absolutely a hardcore element of people who see this as an opportunity to pick a fight with police.”