Hundreds of anti-vaccination protesters have defied social-distancing measures at rallies across Australia.
Protesters claiming the COVID-19 pandemic was a “scam” gathered at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on Saturday, and carried signs declaring they were against vaccines and 5G technology.
Their placards stated “5G — communism“, “COVID 1984” and “our ignorance is their strength”.
They booed police – clad in gloves and face masks – who warned the crowd they were breaching social-distancing rules designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement, police said those found in breach of COVID-19 directions faced fines of $1652 each.
In Sydney, up to 500 protesters voiced conspiracy theories regarding not only vaccination, but also 5G telecommunication networks, fluoride and large pharmaceutical corporations.
The group convened at Hyde Park in the CBD before holding a singalong of anti- vaccination songs and walking to NSW Parliament House.
They chanted “freedom of choice” and “my body, my choice” on the march, with some attempting to raise the spectre of a “new world order”.
The walk passed without incident or police intervention.
Similar protests were also planned for Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart.
When asked about the protests, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said “there’s no message that can get through to people who have no belief in science”.
“There’s probably no reaching them,” he earlier told reporters.