Anti-lockdown protest turns violent in Sydney

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Protestors clashed with police during anti-lockdown protests in Sydney, Australia on Saturday (July 24).

Thousands of people, mostly maskless, gathered in defiance of public health orders amidst a growing COVID-19 outbreak.

The protest turned violent fairly quickly, as protesters threw potted plants, paint and water bottles at police officers and media, whilst others physically assaulted police horses.

New South Wales Police Minister, David Elliot, announced the formation of a strike force to identify and charge those involved.

"What we saw today were three and a half thousand very selfish boofheads. People that thought the law didn't apply to them. There is no doubt in my mind that at least one individual there today had COVID. It is statistically impossible for us not to consider that."

New South Wales, Australia's most populous state and home to the country's most populous city Sydney,

has been four weeks into a lockdown to contain an outbreak of the virulent Delta variant of the coronavirus.

At least 57 people were arrested at Sydney's protest, with many more expected to come,

whilst in the neighboring state, Victoria, local media reported at least half a dozen were arrested in Melbourne.

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