Victoria Police have arrested a protester who sang the John Farnham hit You’re The Voice at officers to protest Victoria’s harsh lockdowns.
The man, who had a GoPro strapped to his chest and was waving the Australian, British and American flags, bellowed off-key to more than 10 police officers in Melbourne‘s Royal Botanic Gardens.
‘I’m the voice try and understand it,’ he sang as the officers approached. ‘I’m makin’ a noise and I’m makin’ it clear – woaah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh’.
The song was Australia’s biggest hit in 1986, and ranked number six in radio station Triple M’s ‘Ozzest 100’ most Australian songs of all time in 2018.
‘I’m the voice try and understand it’ the man bellows, waving three allied flags on one pole
‘Are we going to sit in silence and sit in fear?’ he shouted as three officers ripped away his megaphone and grabbed his flag pole.
‘What for? What for?’ he shouts as they tackled him to the ground.
Four police subdued him on the ground to arrest him as his friend, wrapped in a Eureka flag and wearing a beanie talks calmly to more officers.
The flag was flown at the 1854 Eureka Stockade at Ballarat, a famous uprising by miners against the Victorian colonial authority.
The friend can be heard telling police he knew there are coronavirus restrictions.
‘I know we’ve got no freedom at all… not allowed to go 5km, not allowed to walk without a mask,’ he said.
The police were not impressed. Three officers tackled the protester, taking his megaphone and grabbing his flag pole. Pictured: the first officer moves in
The Aussie rock fan was tackled to the ground, the GoPro strapped to his chest recording the moment he hit the grass
The officers discuss arresting him, saying he was already arrested the week before in the same spot.
‘That’s it, we are here to protest,’ the man told them.
‘We’re here to protest against our loss of freedom – it’s just craziness. This is Melbourne is it? I don’t think we’re North Korea.’
It was not known what day the arrest happened, but the video surfaced Monday on a social media account of Antifa supporter ‘Cam Smith’ (not his real name) who hosts a community radio show with anonymous anarcho-communist ‘Andy Fleming’.
Four officers ended up restraining the man on the ground while his friend, wearing a beanie and draped in a Eureka flag, told police they were there to protest for their freedom
The protest in front the National Herbarium of Victoria in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens
It is not known when the two-man protest happened but it may have been Saturday’s ‘Melbourne Freedom Walk’ planned for the Tan track which was censored by Facebook (pictured: the censorship notice)
‘You can have little a maskhole being taken down mid-Farnsey, as a treat,’ wrote ‘Smith’ on posting the video to social media.
About 340 people committed to attend a ‘Melbourne Freedom Walk’ protest at the Royal Botanic Gardens on Saturday.
However the protest’s Facebook page was hit with a ‘legal restriction’ for encouraging a breach of Stage 4 lockdown laws.
Four men were charged with incitement in the lead-up to the previous Saturday’s ‘Freedom Day’ rally in Melbourne at the Shrine of Remembrance and Albert Park which resulted in violent scuffles, 17 arrests and more than 160 fines.
The man’s friend, who also filmed the protest with a second GoPro, talking to police draped in a Eureka flag, symbol of Victorian rebellion against Britain at the Eureka Stockade in 1854
Individual and group protests have been rising as Melbourne struggles under a tough Stage Four lockdown that has been in place since August 2.
Mounting pressure has been put on Premier Daniel Andrews to re-evaluate his four-step road out of coronavirus lockdown by business leaders, the Federal Government, small business and ordinary people who are feeling the strain of losing their income.
Premier Andrews, however, has defended his tough measures saying they are the only way to be sure that the state does not ease restrictions too soon, resulting in lockdowns having to be re-introduced.
The tight Melbourne lockdown will not ease significantly until Step Two is reached, which will allow more than 100,000 workers to go back to work in construction, manufacturing, and maintenance.
Victoria’s government is aiming at September 28, however progress to Step Two depends on improvement in the 14-day rolling average of new case numbers.
The 14-day rolling average of new daily cases has been falling rapidly to reach 56.9 on Sunday. Step Two easings will be triggered when new daily cases hit between 30 and 50 per day for 14 days, the Victorian Government says on it’s website.
Step Two will be triggered when new daily cases hit between 30 and 50 per day for 14 days, the Victorian Government says on it’s website.
The rolling average has been falling dramatically, reaching 56.9 on Sunday down from 120.8 two weeks previously.
Victoria recorded 35 new cases of coronavirus on Monday bringing the total number of cases to 19,872 with 729 deaths, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
There are 1075 active infections of which 122 patients are in hospital and 12 in intensive care.
Of the 1075 active infections, the vast bulk – 1019 cases – are in Melbourne’s metropolitan area, subject to the Stage Four restrictions.
The Stage Four restrictions were eased slightly on Monday as Step One on the road to recovery was implemented.
The Step One changes were minor: one extra hour of outdoors time, one less hour of curfew and allowing people who live alone to socialise with one other person.
MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:
Step one: The first step came into effect at 11.59pm on September 13.
Step two: The second step will be implemented when Melbourne has 30-50 COVID-19 cases a day on average over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on September 28.
Step three: The move to step three will occur when there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on October 26.
Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23.
COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal.
Step one – 11.59pm on September 13: now in effect
– Curfew has been eased to 9pm-5am
– People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)
– Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours
– Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’
– Childcare and early educators to remain closed
– Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption
– Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry
– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only
– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect
– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping
Step two – September 28:
– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households
– Childcare and early educators can re-open
– Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4
– There will be an increase to permitted workplaces
Step three – October 26:
– Curfew is no longer in place
– There are no restrictions on leaving home
– Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors
– A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another
– Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite
– Work from home is encouraged
– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor
– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed
– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment
– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked
Step four – November 23:
– Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors
– Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time
– All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place
– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue
– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants
Step five – COVID normal:
– Public gatherings have no restriction
– There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes
– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers
– Schools to reopen as normal
– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records