Anti-lockdown protesters gather in Melbourne

More than 60 people were arrested on Tuesday (September 21), after more than 2,000 protesters damaged property, blocked a busy freeway and injured three police, following a two-week closure of construction sites to limit the spread of the disease.

Groups of protesters roamed the streets and gathered at a city landmark on Wednesday despite pleas to remain home, but most avoided clashes with busloads of police, while state police chief Shane Patton vowed to prevent more violence.

By late afternoon, television images showed a large group of police had dispersed several hundred protesters gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance, which honors war service.

The protests followed a decision by authorities to make vaccines mandatory for construction workers and to enforce the closure of building sites from Tuesday, citing non-compliance with health rules.

Authorities and union officials have said extremist and far-right groups had joined the protest.

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