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

A swarm of more than 1,000 anti-lockdown protesters have descended on Melbourne and clashed with police officers in wild scenes as the 'Freedom Day' rally threatens to spiral out of control. 

Frustrated activists, furious with Daniel Andrew's Stage Four lockdown, turned out in their droves to demand the restrictions come to an end, with new coronavirus cases now in the double digits. 

Shocking footage shows the horde of protesters, many refusing to wear masks battling with police, as the city's CBD was brought to a standstill as traffic was diverted from the area.  

Dramatic scenes saw demonstrators tackled to the ground while officers struggle to detain them.  

The protests kicked off at the Shrine of Remembrance but coronavirus-deniers have since taken to the streets, stopping traffic near Albert Park. 

One crowd faced off with police on horseback as the chant 'Freedom' rang out across the city while dozens were arrested.

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

A standoff between Victorian police officers and coronavirus-deniers is seen outside the Shrine of Remembrance on Saturday

A standoff between Victorian police officers and coronavirus-deniers is seen outside the Shrine of Remembrance on Saturday

One man had a mask forced upon him by Victorian police officers - claiming he was going to the dentist

One man had a mask forced upon him by Victorian police officers - claiming he was going to the dentist

THe man is seen arguing with police at the march on Saturday. Thousands vowed to attend the protest but many announced they would not turn up in the days before the march

THe man is seen arguing with police at the march on Saturday. Thousands vowed to attend the protest but many announced they would not turn up in the days before the march

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

One man claimed he was going to see the dentist when confronted by police outside the Shrine of Remembrance.

Police later arrested the man and forced a face mask upon him, The Herald Sun reported. 

officers in riot gear have since descended onto the streets as the protest continues to make its way across the city. 

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 be at the march.

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

Police scramble to detain a women seen at the protest in Melbourne on Saturday morning. A large number of demonstrators have been arrested

Police scramble to detain a women seen at the protest in Melbourne on Saturday morning. A large number of demonstrators have been arrested

Another man was seen walked away from the demonstration by police officers with his shirt pulled over his arm

Another man was seen walked away from the demonstration by police officers with his shirt pulled over his arm 

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