Anti-lockdown protests quashed across NSW

·2-min read

Police have broken up almost 80 small anti-lockdown protests across NSW, arresting more than 150 people.

The 79 protests on Tuesday occurred both in Sydney and regional NSW, and were focused primarily on local council buildings. Small protests took place at NSW Parliament House and Government House.

Some 153 people were arrested and 573 fines dished out.

Many of those arrested were released after officers were able to establish their identities to issue them fines.

Others were charged with a variety of offences including breaching public health orders, resisting arrest, refusing to comply with police directions and failing to move on.

Three officers suffered minor injuries following interactions with protesters at Lismore, Murwillumbah and Raymond Terrace.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon told reporters most protests were made up of only a handful of people.

The organisers were different to those who oversaw a large-scale demonstration last month in the Sydney CBD.

Separate attempts to arrange a truck blockade failed to eventuate.

"We've made it very clear in previous weeks the police are not opposed to free speech, but we are opposed to activity that breaches the public health order and puts the community in danger," Mr Lanyon said.

Among those arrested were people in Orange, Mudgee, Uralla, Glen Innes, Inverell and Tamworth in the state's west.

NSW Police Western Region Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said protesters were "disregarding the safety of their communities".

"I don't think it's a sign that we're losing the community as such. These people would be protesting, any day of the week, on any number of issues. It's just so irresponsible," Mr McKechnie told reporters.

Police warned that protests may ultimately serve as COVID-19 "super-spreading events", prolonging the lockdown they seek to cease.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Tuesday also encouraged NSW residents to seek information on COVID-19 from reputable sources such as medical professionals or scientific journals.

Protests were also recorded across other Australian states, such as South Australia, the ACT and Queensland, as well as in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, another person who took part in a protest in the Sydney CBD in July has been charged after allegedly throwing pot plants at police.

The 19-year-old was arrested on Tuesday after police searched his house, seizing LSD, ketamine, cannabis and magic mushrooms.

He is facing a string of charges, including riot, throwing missiles at a police officer and two counts of supplying prohibited drugs.

He was refused bail and appeared at Manly Local Court on Tuesday.

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