Coronavirus Australia: Bankstown, Sydney anti-lockdown protest clashes with cops

Coronavirus Australia: Bankstown, Sydney anti-lockdown protest clashes with cops
Coronavirus Australia: Bankstown, Sydney anti-lockdown protest clashes with cops

Anti-lockdown protesters have clashed with cops in Sydney's south-west in a march against crippling Covid-19 restrictions, with four men arrested.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian tightened lockdown rules in the councils of Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury on Saturday due to disproportionately high case numbers of the highly infectious Indian Delta variant in those areas.

On Sunday, 79 of the 105 new cases came from the three locked-down local government areas - but the figures didn't stop about 40 furious residents from taking to the streets claiming the south-west was 'unfairly targeted' by the strengthened rules.

Protesters directed their anger at Ms Berejiklian chanting 'Freedom, Freedom', 'No to the vaccine', and 'f**k off Gladys' as they marched through Paul Keating Park at about 5pm on Sunday.

Fiery photos show men, women and teenagers marching with a mega phone, and mostly without face masks, coming up against police who tried continually to quell the demonstration. 

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Pictured: Police trying to reason with a protester in Bankstown at an anti-lockdown protest on Sunday afternoon

Pictured: Police trying to reason with a protester in Bankstown at an anti-lockdown protest on Sunday afternoon

Pictured: A group of demonstrators in Bankstown, in Sydney's west, marching against lockdown on Sunday afternoon

Pictured: A group of demonstrators in Bankstown, in Sydney's west, marching against lockdown on Sunday afternoon

Pictured: Demonstrators marching in Bankstown against restrictive lockdown rules in Sydney's west on Sunday afternoon

Pictured: Demonstrators marching in Bankstown against restrictive lockdown rules in Sydney's west on Sunday afternoon

In one image, cops could be seen confronting group members as others crowded around filming the altercation with their phones.

Another showed a small parade of people marching through the park behind chanting men.

Police told Daily Mail Australia that four men were arrested during the demonstration. 

'About 40 people gathered at a park when officers attached to South West Metropolitan Operations Support Group who were already at the location attempted to disperse the group,' a spokeswoman said.

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'Four men, aged 20, 23, 27, and 32, were arrested and taken to Bankstown Police Station where they are expected to be charged.' 

Pictured: Police in face masks watching an anti-lockdown protest in Sydney's west on Sunday. Demonstrators took to the streets in Bankstown

Pictured: Police in face masks watching an anti-lockdown protest in Sydney's west on Sunday. Demonstrators took to the streets in Bankstown

Pictured: Men and women marching in Bankstown on Sunday afternoon, claiming the lockdow in Sydney's west is 'unfairly targeted'

Pictured: Men and women marching in Bankstown on Sunday afternoon, claiming the lockdow in Sydney's west is 'unfairly targeted'

Pictured: A police clash with anti-lockdown protesters at a demonstration in Sydney's west on Sunday afternoon

Pictured: A police clash with anti-lockdown protesters at a demonstration in Sydney's west on Sunday afternoon 

The 810,000 people living in those regions were told they cannot leave their suburbs even for work unless they're employed in healthcare, aged care or emergency services until at least July 30.

Any essential employees who are permitted to leave their suburbs for work are subject to the same restrictions previously in place, including taking a Covid test every three days.

Local leaders have already slammed the police blitz in her area to enforce Covid lockdown restrictions, instead advocating for more health workers.

'We need the health response rather than the police response,' Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller told the Today show.

The Mayor said people in her council were mostly complying with Covid restrictions and deploying the army in addition to higher police visibility would be 'overkill'.

'[People] are very concerned that we're being singled out,' Ms Waller said. 'We know from previous lockdowns [that people complied].

'If we got an extra hundred health workers in our local area giving out the vaccines, rather than this, I think we'd get a better outcome.'

An extra 100 police officers patrolled the Liverpool, Fairfield and Canterbury-Bankstown councils on Friday in a crackdown on people breaching lockdown restrictions.

Officers have urged people to follow stay-at-home directives, and warned that they will fine anyone who breaches the rules up to $1000. 

In total, 240 PINs were issued on Saturday, with 53 of those $200 infringements for failing to wear a fitted face covering. 

A further 23 people were charged with failing to comply with Public Health Orders.    

On Sunday, Ms Berejiklian revealed

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