Thousands of police officers were deployed to counter anti-lockdown protests in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday.
Over 200 people were arrested in Melbourne as several hundred protesters marched through an inner-city suburb defying draconian stay at home orders. The city is currently going through its sixth lockdown since the pandemic started.
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Police, who were using pepper spray, said that six officers were taken to hospital after they were pelted with projectiles and trampled in clashes with the crowd of around 1000 people.
Breitbart reports: Police attempted to reduce access to the centre of the city, blocking roads and stopping public transport in a bid to avoid a repeat of violent scenes at a rally that drew thousands last month.
But marchers then relocated, with footage from one incident showing a crowd charging through a police line as scuffles erupted along a tram route.
Huge numbers of police managed to deter a similar gathering in Sydney, with officers swarming a park where the protest had been due to go ahead.
New South Wales Police said they arrested around 20 people in the city, mainly across the public transport network, while several others were arrested in smaller gatherings around the state.
Both cities are enduring lengthy lockdowns as authorities race to vaccinate a way out of restrictions amid growing outbreaks.
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