06/10/2022

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius says police will not tolerate ‘batshit crazy’ planned rally in the CBD and protesters’ feet ‘won’t touch the ground’.

His house was raided and two laptops, a computer and two mobile phones were seized.
Mr Cornelius said those thinking of protesting were utterly selfish.
We will be taking further action over the course of the next week in the lead-up to the protest as we identify other organisers and will be taking action against them, he said.
We will be taking action against anyone who turns up on the day to participate.
Mr Cornelius said inciting someone to breach the Chief Health Officers direction attracts the same penalties as someone who actually breaches the directions.
In this case, because we will be putting this matter before the court, that individual will be facing a penalty of up to $20,000. So its a very serious offence, he said.
He said that conspiracy theorists are using the current stage four lockdown restrictions to spread their “own ridiculous notions”.
Police detain a man in Dandenong on Thursday afternoon. He was later released.Credit:Joe Armao
“The tinfoil hat wearing brigade are alive and well out there in our community and they are taking every opportunity to leverage the current situation to serve their own ridiculous notions about so-called sovereign citizens, about constitutional issues about how 5G is going to kill your grandkids, he said.
Its just crazy, its batshit crazy nonsense. People need to wake up to themselves because the wider community is awake to you and you need to stop it.
Mr Cornelius said organising and participating in the protest would be a serious and blatant breach of the coronavirus restrictions and anyone attending the protest in the CBD would be arrested.
Their feet wont touch the ground, he said.
The very hard work of the vast majority who have been complying by and large with these restrictions will be undone by a small and selfish minority of foolish people who would wilfully further expose us to the deadly virus.
No one has the human right to infect other people and place the entire Victorian community at risk.
He also urged anyone planning on attending daily anti-lockdown protests in Dandenong to think again.
Those who have taken part in recent days have claimed that they arent gathering to protest but are coincidentally all out at the same time for their one hour of exercise.
Please dont try and dress your behaviour up as exercise, said Mr Cornelius.
We all know its not, so stop playing us and the wider community for fools … Don’t try and dress that up when the real reason for leaving home is to wander down the street with a bunch of other boofheads to protest.
Just for one moment, stop thinking about yourselves and spare a thought for the loved ones of the nearly 500 Victorians who have died so far.
Reflect on what you need to do to stop more death, more grief and more harm.
Two men were charged and 17 people were fined at the protest in Dandenong on Thursday night.
Local leaders have voiced concern over the repeated protests at the George Andrews Reserve this week.
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Simone is a crime reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Age, and before that for The Australian in Melbourne.