(Natural News) Australia recently deployed law enforcement helicopters to enforce Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) mandates. The move is part of the country’s “zero COVID” strategy, which aims to eliminate coronavirus infections through lockdowns. While the country has received praise for its response to the pandemic with just over 34,000 cases and less than 1,000 fatalities, many Australians denounced the lockdowns.
One Australian man who was outside captured footage of a blue and white helicopter telling people to go home from a loudspeaker. The helicopter circled the man and warned that local police would search for him and fine him for violating lockdown orders. Australia’s current lockdown rules mandated a fine of almost 700 Australian dollars (US$500) for rule-breakers.
A separate report by the Daily Mail also mentioned law enforcement using helicopters to announce public health measures. Footage uploaded to social media showed officers aboard a helicopter warning people to leave Gordons Bay beach in Sydney. Its announcement said local police had been notified and warned that “anyone breaching the public health order will be issued a fine.”
Another report by Metro said police also ordered beachgoers at the Coogee and Bondi beaches to go home. Most Australians headed to the beach to soak up some sun despite New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling on people to stay home. “Nearly 1,000 people were spoken to, ensuring they were complying with the local government area’s requirement,” a spokesman for the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) said.
Authorities in the country also mandated COVID-19 testing and mask-wearing outdoors, and issued 250 fines for these breaches. Meanwhile, around 300 unarmed members of the Australian Army helped police with door-to-door visits to ensure COVID-positive Australians were self-isolating.
Under the “zero COVID” order, Sydney’s 5 million residents were ordered to stay at home due to 3,000 COVID-19 infections since mid-June 2021. Meanwhile, Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program continued despite criticism of its inflexibility. Only 17 percent of Australian adults were fully vaccinated, and borders would remain shut until 80 percent of the Australian population were inoculated. (Related: Sydney extends lockdown as post-vaccine coronavirus outbreak surges.)
Law enforcement moved to prevent another anti-lockdown protest
Australian protesters without masks took to the streets on July 24, the Associated Press reported. Melbourne and Sydney residents fed up with the lockdowns protested against the draconian lockdowns to chants of “freedom.” Some protesters carried signs calling for the truth and warned against tyrannical government control.
The Sydney protesters first congregated at Victoria Park located in the city’s Haymarket suburb. They then marched toward the Sydney Town Hall at the central business district. The protest began moments after NSW Ministry of Health senior official Dr. Jeremy McAnulty declared the area a virus hotspot.
NSWPF deployed mounted officers and riot police over the “unauthorized protest activity.” It arrested more than 60 protesters after objects were thrown at officers. These included a protester who allegedly launched a bollard at a police officer and some others who punched police horses.
NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard said: “We live in a democracy and normally I am certainly one who supports people’s rights to protest. [But] at the present time, we’ve got cases going through the roof and we have people thinking that’s OK to get out there and possibly be close to each other at a demonstration.”
In a statement, NSWPF said it recognized and supported Australians’ rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. However, it noted that the protest was a breach of public health orders. “The priority for [NSWPF] is always the safety of the wider community,” the statement continued. NSWPF later established roadblocks and deployed up to 1,300 officers in Sydney on July 31 to stop another anti-lockdown protest.
Tens of thousands of Melbourne residents also protested the Victoria state government’s new restrictions. Some protesters lit flares as they gathered outside the state’s Parliament House, while others held banners condemning the lockdowns. “This is not about a virus, it’s about total government control of the people,” one of the banners read. (Related: Australia announces beginning of ‘New World Order’ as harsh COVID lockdowns imposed.)
The Victoria Police warned that the protests could prompt an extension of the state’s current COVID-19 lockdown. Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton shared the police force’s sentiments and said that the demonstrations would not free Australians from COVID-19.