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Cops swarm on anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne for Freedom Day rally

A swarm of anti-lockdown protesters have been taken away in handcuffs after clashing with over-zealous police officers during a planned rally in Melbourne on Saturday.

Hundreds turned up to the ‘Freedom Day’ marches in the coronavirus-riddled city – demanding an end to the state’s Stage Four Restrictions.

Those in attendance – with many refusing to wear a face mask – were quickly knocked back by a horde of officers as a large number were arrested for breaching public health orders.

Dramatic footage shows demonstrators lying on the ground while officers struggled to detain them.

One crowd faced off with police on horseback as the chant ‘Freedom’ rang out outside the Shrine of Remembrance. 

Anti-lockdown protesters were bombarded with police outside the Shrine of Remembrance on Saturday

Anti-lockdown protesters were bombarded with police outside the Shrine of Remembrance on Saturday

One man is seen caught in a scuffle with a Victorian police officer during the protest

One man is seen caught in a scuffle with a Victorian police officer during the protest

Ralliers were warned a large police presence would be seen if they attended the protests which defied the city’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.

In the lead up to the march, many of the anti-lockdown movement’s most notorious members announced they would no longer attend.

James Bartolo was charged with incitement on Friday for allegedly encouraging his mass following to attend the rally.  

Following his arrest, Bartolo told Nine News he would not longer be in attendance.

The mass crowds or protesters were outmatched by police who swarmed the Shrine of Remembrance on Saturday

The mass crowds or protesters were outmatched by police who swarmed the Shrine of Remembrance on Saturday

One woman with a top reading: 'Freedom' was seen being dragged away by two police officers and she desperately tried to fight them off

One woman with a top reading: ‘Freedom’ was seen being dragged away by two police officers and she desperately tried to fight them off

‘I wanted people to not go to the protests, now, hopefully, (the) protest won’t go ahead, I hope you put that on,’ he said on Friday night. 

‘It’s a trap because Daniel Andrews just wanted to blame the protest to extend the lockdown.’ 

One woman with a top reading: ‘Freedom’ was seen being dragged away by two police officers and she desperately tried to fight them off.

Despite the hundreds of protesters in attendance, they were no match for the army of police. 

More to come. 

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