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Clashes between police and protesters against the closure in Australia and the arrest of 200 people


Victoria police clashed with anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, as the Australian state recorded 535 new cases of coronavirus and one death.


About 1,000 protesters gathered in the northeastern suburbs of Richmond and Hawthorne, and were forced to relocate at the last minute after 2,000 police officers formed a "loop" around Melbourne's central business district, the Guardian reported.


10 Australian police were injured in confrontations with protesters who came out in Melbourne, in demonstrations against the closure restrictions imposed by the authorities to limit the spread of the Corona virus, while more than 200 people were arrested.


Six injured policemen were taken to hospital, and 235 protesters were arrested after authorities used pepper spray against groups of anti-lockdown protesters who assaulted and broke into police lines near the suburb of Richmond, the Australian newspaper "The Edge" reported on Saturday.


The authorities prevented protesters from entering and leaving Melbourne by public transport and cars in an effort to prevent the start of the protests, but this did not completely discourage the gathering.


Hundreds of protesters chanted the closure and demanded the dismissal of Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews, most of whom were not wearing face masks.


Public transportation to and from the city was suspended between 8am and 2pm on Saturday, and police set up road checkpoints, roadblocks and mobile patrols across the city in an attempt to thwart the protest.


Police officers' barricades were able to confine protesters to Burnley Street in Richmond. That was until some protesters opened the closed gate of an apartment complex, allowing them to flee the authorities to Bridge Road.


Footage from the ground showed protesters clashing with police on several occasions.


On one occasion, protesters were filmed throwing objects - including water bottles and a traffic cone - at police, who had formed a human barrier, to block the march. In response, the police sprayed pepper spray.


The protesters were also filmed attacking and breaching the police line, and one of the officers fell to the ground and was trampled on by the demonstrators.


Several people who attended the rally were reportedly arrested.


Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters this week that this would be the largest Victoria Police operation since the 2000 World Economic Forum held in Melbourne.


Police were trying to avoid a repeat of what happened on August 21, when about 4,000 people attended a violent anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne.


The newspaper said Victoria was not the only state hit by anti-lockdown protests on Saturday.


In Sydney, police came out in force to deter planned protests and protesters were arrested for violating stay-at-home orders as New South Wales surpassed 50,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

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