Police swarmed protesters gathering in Melbourne as anti-lockdown rallies reached their seventh day.
Hundreds of officers arrested a dozen protesters on the St Kilda foreshore on Saturday in a rally that drew up to 200 people.
Protesters gathered in the inner beach suburb chanting slogans such as “together united we will never be divided” and “we are not afraid”.
Other participants in the crowd were heard shouting “f*** Dan Andrews” from megaphones.
Police arrested dozens of anti-lockdown protesters who gathered at St Kilda in Melbourne on Saturday
A heavy police presence was seen as buses full of officers arrived in the inner beach suburb
Crowd participants were heard shouting ‘f*** Dan Andrews’ from megaphones
The group spilled onto Beach Road as a police helicopter hovered over the rally and a roadblock set up outside Luna Park.
More than 20 public response order units lined the exit routes as officers formed a giant wall around protesters along the beach.
A group of officers placed several protesters in handcuffs before they were taken out of the area.
Victoria Police handcuffed several men as roadblocks were set up outside Melbourne’s Luna Park
A police helicopter flew over the rally which drew up to 200 protesters
Buses full of officers had arrived at the foreshore just before noon on Saturday after organizers summoned demonstrators for the “Millions March for Freedom” rally.
But defiant anti-lockdown participants later conceded defeat due to heavy police presence after days of chaos in the CBD.
Attendees were heard protesting closures and compulsory vaccinations
The rally attracted over 200 participants as it spilled onto the beach road in St Kilda
Secret Telegram messages seen by Daily Mail Australia from a group led by key protest organizers thank those involved but admit the week ended in loss.
“We want you to know that we are so proud of all of our community members, new and old, for their courage in standing up for their rights in the face of such adversity,” the post read.
“Never forget that we made history that day.
Telegram messages seen by Daily Mail Australia from the Freedom Melbourne Rally group led by key protest organizers thank those involved but admit the week ended in loss
“You don’t have to win every battle to win the war. The truth always wins in the end.
“We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came forward last week in defense of freedom.
“On the long journey to claim our rights, we will inevitably suffer losses. Today was one of those days when we were outnumbered and failed to come together.
The scenes of violence in Melbourne began on Monday when construction workers angry over vaccination mandates stormed the headquarters of the Construction, Forestry, Marine, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in the CBD.
Hours later, Prime Minister Dan Andrews announced he was shutting down Victoria’s $22 billion construction industry for two weeks from September 21.
The closure of metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong, the Surf Coast, Ballarat and Mitchell Shire further angered workers, who marched through the city and clashed with police.
On Tuesday, seething anti-vaxxer protesters chased police and pelted police cars with cans as street rallies descended into chaos once again.
Footage showed traders in high-visibility clothing kicking into police cruisers in the CBD as thousands of protesters gathered outside Victoria’s Houses of Parliament.
A Channel 7 TV reporter covering the march was assaulted by a protester and also had bags of urine thrown at him.
Chaotic scenes continue in Melbourne’s St Kilda after protests began on Monday when construction workers stormed the CFMEU building in anger over vaccination mandates
By the end of the working week there were fewer protests in Melbourne – but arrests still followed (pictured, a man is taken in handcuffs to St Kilda)
Tensions have been high all week in Melbourne’s CBD, with residents protesting compulsory vaccinations for construction workers (pictured, a heavy police presence is seen on St Kilda beach on Saturday)
More than 20 public response order units lined the exit lanes on Beach Road in St Kilda (pictured, police speak with a protester on Saturday)
Thousands of construction workers and anti-vaxxers took to the streets – many of them distraught after shopkeeper Stipe Lijovic killed himself at a construction site earlier in the day.
Protesters then marched to block the West Gate Bridge – a major highway in Melbourne’s CBD – which brought rush hour traffic to a standstill.
Wednesday saw another protest, with a man later hospitalized with Covid symptoms after attending the rally.
By the end of the working week, the number of protesters had dwindled – but the number of Covid cases in Victoria is rising.
The state recorded 733 new cases and one death, a woman in her 80s, from the northern suburbs of Melbourne.
Friday also saw more than 200 people arrested following illegal protest activity in Melbourne’s CBD and the Inner North.
Riot police were deployed to Northcote Plaza and All Nations Park in Northcote on Friday (pictured) in a major police operation to disrupt another lockdown protest
The protest in Northcote on Friday saw 31 arrests, with others also spoken to by police (pictured)