Liberal Democratic Party MP David Limbrick has called for fines issued at the Nov. 3 anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne to be rescinded because protesters were "falsely imprisoned" while being charged for breaching the Chief Health Officer's (CHO) orders.
Upper house crossbencher, Limbrick said the state Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy should to tell the courts to throw out the fines, given that protesters were "not allowed to socially distance" and put in danger by police.
Protestors were held in tight groups for over three hours without being informed of what the charges were against them and restrained from leaving.
From within the kettle, Limbrick said he witnessed one woman have a panic attack, people being capsicum sprayed "for no apparent reason," and a praying man arrested violently.
The Parliament of Victoria's upper house on Nov. 3, 2017. in Melbourne, Australia. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)During question time of the upper house meeting, Limbrick asked for the Victorian government to explain who ordered the kettling tactic.
Limbrick, who was one of the people fined at the rally, has previously said that human rights don’t disappear just because we’re in a pandemic and governments need to be reminded of that.
Meanwhile, the state's health minister, Martin Foley opposed this view, citing that keeping people safe is more important than the democratic right to protest.
Victoria has recorded 12 days of zero new COVID-19 infections and deaths. The virus has an incubation period of two weeks, so it is unknown if there have been any community transmission from the protest.