Charges laid as thousands of protestors defy lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne

The only events happening in Sydney and Melbourne over the weekend were of the unofficial kind, with protestors clashing with police in both cities in protest at the latest lockdowns.

More than 50 people were charged following the anti-lockdown rally in Sydney that saw graphic images of a man punching a police horse.

Police Minister David Elliott slammed the protestors as “halfwits” and “boofheads”.

“It would have only taken one person with Covid to turn today’s event into a super spreader,” he said.

“Decent minded Australians have every right to feel infuriated for such selfish behaviour.

“This selfish, inappropriate behaviour is what is going to keep this city in a lockdown.

“What we saw today were 3500 very selfish boofheads.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian also criticised the protest, describing it as “illegal march”.

“I am utterly disgusted by the illegal protesters in the city today whose selfish actions have compromised the safety of all of us,” she said.

“The protesters have shown utter contempt for their fellow citizens who are currently doing it tough.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was not the right time to protest.

“While we are fighting an unseen virus seeking to transmit to us all, to potentially kill some of our most vulnerable, we owe it to each other to keep each other safe,” he said.

“Demonstrations are potentially the playground of this dangerous virus and don’t help to keep us all safe. Quite the opposite.”

The protests are yet another headache for Berejiklian who admitted there was no definitive end to the lockdown in sight.

“The real answer is not even the experts know that answer, it is literally day by day, week by week issue,” she said.

Reports have been circulating that the government is preparing for the lockdown to drag on until September, with the federal government weighing up the option of bringing back a new form of financial support.

Berejiklian is publicly pinning her hopes on a surge in vaccinations to bring an end to the lockdown. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has knocked back requests for the federal government to divert extra vaccines to NSW, instead insisting that lockdowns were the only answer to Sydney’s present crisis.

However, in an editorial in The Daily Telegraph, Morrison said there was a “pathway back to normal life” for the nation.

“It is built on a clear premise: if you get vaccinated, we can make lockdowns, border closures and restrictions a thing of the past,” he said.

“I will be recommending these vaccination targets to Premiers and Chief Ministers in coming weeks so we all know what we are aiming for.”