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Eight anti-lockdown protesters are charged for gathering in Melbourne for a 'freedom day' rally

Eight anti-lockdown protesters have been charged and more than 160 were issued fines after a ‘Freedom Day’ rally campaigning against Melbourne’s lockdown turned violent.

Victorian police charged a protester with assault after an officer suffered cuts to the head during Saturday’s demonstration.

Another seven people have been charged with breaching COVID-19 directions after about 200 gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance and Albert Park on Saturday.

Violent scuffles between protesters and police broke out resulting in police arresting 17 people and handing out more than 160 fines.

Eight anti-lockdown protesters have been charged and more than 160 were issued fines after a 'Freedom Day' rally campaigning against Melbourne's lockdown turned violent

Eight anti-lockdown protesters have been charged and more than 160 were issued fines after a ‘Freedom Day’ rally campaigning against Melbourne’s lockdown turned violent 

Victorian police charged a protester with assault after an officer suffered cuts to the head during Saturday's demonstration

Victorian police charged a protester with assault after an officer suffered cuts to the head during Saturday’s demonstration

Violent scuffles between protesters and police broke out resulting in police arresting 17 people and handing out more than 160 fines

Violent scuffles between protesters and police broke out resulting in police arresting 17 people and handing out more than 160 fines 

One man is seen caught in a scuffle with a Victorian police officer during the protest (pictured on Saturday) with wild scenes caught on camera

One man is seen caught in a scuffle with a Victorian police officer during the protest (pictured on Saturday) with wild scenes caught on camera

‘Despite all the warnings, it was disappointing to see individuals turn out to protest in the city today, putting the lives of Victorians at risk,’ a police statement said. 

A photographer at the scene says a man punched officers at the city’s Shrine of Remembrance before being fitted with a mask and handcuffs.

Later at Albert Park, police reportedly surrounded a group of about 30-50, pushing some to the ground.

Some of the demonstrators carried placards with anti-government sentiments and at one stage were singing the national anthem.

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

Meanwhile, another man was seen dragged away from the demonstration with his shirt pulled up around his arm. 

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

One woman had her sign that read: ‘End the lockdown the people are suffering’ confiscated by police.  

A protester is arrested at a Freedom Day protest against lockdown regulations in Melbourne

A protester is arrested at a Freedom Day protest against lockdown regulations in Melbourne

One man is seen shouting for the end of lockdown during the wild protests on Saturday Po

One man is seen shouting for the end of lockdown during the wild protests on Saturday Po

Victoria Police said it was 'disappointing to see individuals put the lives of Victorians at risk'

Victoria Police said it was ‘disappointing to see individuals put the lives of Victorians at risk’ 

Victoria recorded 63 new cases and five deaths on Sunday, as Premier Daniel Andrews prepares to unveil his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown.  

Senior government officials said Mr Andrews is waiting for case numbers to get below 10 per day before reopening the economy. 

Before Saturday, police confirmed they had arrested four men in connection with the planned Freedom Day rally.

Those arrests followed the well-publicised arrest of a pregnant Ballarat woman over allegations of a separate rally planned there for Saturday.

Investigations continue.

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