As the anti-lockdown rally intensifies, protesters BREAK THROUGH VICTORIA POLICE LINES.
In Melbourne, ugly confrontations have erupted during an anti-lockdown rally.
On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered in Richmond to protest the city's COVID limitations.
The march began peacefully but gradually deteriorated.
Protesters marched along Richmond Avenue until they came face to face with a wall of police officers, at which time they sat and chanted, "You serve us."
Police used pepper spray after an officer was stabbed with an umbrella by one of the demonstrators.
The march then resumed down the same street, where demonstrators were once again blocked by officers.
At least two people were observed getting apprehended in this occasion.
As the audience were divided, several additional skirmishes between demonstrators and police occurred.
One video shows a group of angry protestors breaching police lines, knocking officers to the ground and crushing them.
To dissuade protesters, 2000 police officers were deployed.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton has described the operation as the largest by the Victoria Police since the 2000 World Economic Forum was hosted in Melbourne.
Previously, the city's central business sector was a no-go zone, with public transportation bypassing the City Loop and roadblocks erected on major arterial highways.
Protesters later reversed course and convened in Richmond.
Health Minister Martin Foley had stated that police will be prepared for "all contingencies."
He warned demonstrators at a press conference on Saturday that they are planning "premeditated, violent events" and that police have organized a massive response.
Victoria is now experiencing the biggest daily increase in COVID cases in the current outbreak.
On Saturday, 535 new cases were reported, with only 62 being tied to established outbreaks.