Anti-lockdown protesters clashed violently with police as thousands of unmasked people marched through the streets of Melbourne on Saturday.
Victoria police said they had made 218 arrests and that six officers were hospitalised during a series of altercations. Police said in a statement the majority of the estimated 4,000 demonstrators “came with violence in mind”.
“The behavior seen by police was so hostile and aggressive that they were left with no choice but to use all tactics available to them,” the statement said.
Footage posted on social media showed protesters cheering, throwing objects at police officers and letting off flares as well as police pepper-spraying protesters.