Police make arrests after multiple protests

Police have arrested 39 people, including two 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old, following a protest in the CBD this morning.

It is understood three vehicles were used to block the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets, with a number of people chaining themselves to the vehicles.

The protesters have been arrested in relation to obstructing a roadway, resisting or obstructing police, and are expected to be charged on summons.

The three vehicles were towed and the scene was cleared.

Police monitored a number of other protests at locations state-wide, including Bacchus Marsh, Laverton North, Pakenham and Corio.

Fourteen protesters in Laverton are expected to be charged on summons for trespass related offences.

Six protesters in Pakenham are expected to be charged on summons with trespass-related offences.

Superintendent David Clayton said the lack of prior engagement with police from the protesters was disappointing and also caused considerable disruptions to thousands of people attempting to navigate through the CBD during peak hour.

“There will be people who couldn’t access services during this time,” Supt Clayton said.

“The safety and security of the community is Victoria Police’s number one priority.

“Police were not engaged with prior to the protest that took place in Melbourne CBD this morning.

“Police are able to facilitate planned protests when we are engaged with which doesn’t put the community at risk.

“This lack of engagement puts the entire community at risk with road closures and delays to transport services.

“We respect the right for people to protest peacefully but we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour that disrupts the broader community.”

Police also arrested one person for assault police during a protest at the aquarium, where protesters blocked the main entrance.

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