Struggling market stall operators in Melbourne are angry after selfish anti-coronavirus lockout protesters cost them a day of much needed trade.
Victoria Police detained 74 people and issued at least 176 notices of violation after about 250 demonstrators gathered at the Queen Victoria Market on Sunday to chant “freedom.”
The video posted online shows police marching down aisles of fresh produce in riot gear and engaging with protesters in aggressive scuffles.
“[The protest] disrupted many law-abiding Victorians from their weekly produce shopping,” a Victoria Police spokesperson said.
“Police were disappointed that many protestors were aggressive and threatened violence towards officers.
“There were no injuries to police that have been identified at this time.
“It was extremely disappointing to see people not just protesting, but putting the lives of other Victorians at risk despite all the warnings. “
Belinda Vitalone, who runs a family business in the Queen Victoria Market for fruit and vegetables, says the day of lost trade would have a “big impact” on her already strained stall.
“We were scared because we didn’t know what was going on and we didn’t know what to do,” she told Sunrise of the protest.
“We couldn’t get any of our deliveries out to our customers, our customers couldn’t pick up their orders and we had a few calling us asking why they couldn’t get to the market because of road blocks.”
“It was a big impact yesterday and we have been struggling big time.”