MORNINGTON police were surprised and caught off guard last week by a protester who used a thin bike lock to chain herself to a pillar outside their Main Street headquarters.
The Mornington woman, who arrived about 10am, Thursday 3 September, said she was protesting in support of a Ballarat woman charged with incitement after allegedly taking to social media to organise an anti-lockdown rally. The mother-to-be was handcuffed in her home, which saw police accused of being “heavy handed”. Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson described it as a “disproportionate” response.
Undeterred, an exasperated Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said police were sick of dealing with “so-called sovereign citizens” and the “tin-foil hat” brigade who are “against masks, against vaccinations and believe 5G causes coronavirus”.
He slammed “bat shit crazies” who thumb their nose at the state’s COVID-19 rules and peddle conspiracy theories. This came after a 76-year-old Windsor man was arrested and also charged with incitement ahead of last weekend’s planned anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne’s.
Meanwhile, back in Main Street, the 72-year-old protester – who came prepared for a long stint with some nuts and a sandwich – politely alerted senior officers before chaining herself up for the five hours.
As well as supporting the Ballarat mother, she too was calling for an end to the lockdowns and for businesses to be allowed to reopen mid- September.
Senior Sergeant Paul Edwards said while he was sympathetic to the woman’s protest, she was in breach of lockdown restrictions. “We let her go to the toilet and she was no trouble but, in the end, it was against the rules.”
She is expected to be issued with a penalty notice for breaching COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.