A Victorian man who was arrested after planning a Melbourne anti-lockdown rally has said he hopes “tens of thousands” will attend a new protest this Saturday.
According to A Current Affair, Windsor resident Solihin Millin was charged with inciting others to breach the chief health officer’s directions last week.
The 76-year-old has remained defiant despite his arrest, telling the program the September 5 demonstrations, set to take place across Australia’s capital cities and dubbed “Freedom Day” by supporters, will continue – although if he attends, it will be a breach of his bail conditions.
Mr Millin, whose social media profiles are littered with coronavirus conspiracy theory material, labelled the coronavirus pandemic a “scam” and said the planned protest posed no threat to the public.
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“If they are peaceful, it’s not dangerous,” Mr Millin said.
Mr Millin is due to face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in February next year and could be slapped with a fine of up to $20,000.
But Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius had a blunt message for those planning to attend, labelling anti-lockdown activists “utterly selfish” and members of the “tinfoil hat-wearing brigade”.
“It’s just crazy, it’s just bats**t crazy nonsense,” he said, warning protesters that their feet “won’t touch the ground”.
His comments come as regular protests continue to be held in Dandenong each night, with participants fed up with stage 4 restrictions taking to the streets under the guise of “exercise”.
Last week, one of the organisers of those ongoing demonstrations appeared to film his own arrest on Facebook Live.
In the clip, Jemal Abazi can be seen walking through the suburb without a mask.
“We’re going to the local park – and doing our exercises – and we have a lot of police there waiting for us,” he said in the video.
“Why they’re wasting the taxpayers’ money is beyond any recognition whatsoever.
“People need to wake up. Please share, and let’s see what happens.”
He is then approached by police officers, who tell him he is being charged with incitement.
“After 200 days (of the pandemic), now potentially we’ve got our first example of community transmission on public transport,” Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said people should not be catching a bus or a train “if you’re not wearing a mask”, adding that it “doesn’t get more simple than that”.