Police are investigating the 300-game star and former Footy Show host for inciting Victorians to take to the streets against the controversial lockdow…
Sam Newman calls on Melburnians to take to the streets and take the city back
Comes amid growing frustrations with Premier Daniel Andrews over lockdown
Melbourne remains under Stage Four lockdown for another two weeks at least
Police expecting to make arrests where alleged illegal activity is being incited
In video shared on Monday, Newman reiterated intention to take to city’s streets
Victorian police have threatened to arrest Sam Newman and throw him in jail for calling on fellow Melburnians to take to the streets to protest the city’s Stage Four lockdown.
Police said they are already investigating the 300-game AFL champion and former Footy Show host and others for allegedly inciting Victorians to take to the streets against the controversial lockdown – which isn’t due to end until September 13.
Newman issued his extraordinary call on Sunday after anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police in a dramatic stand-off in Broadmeadows in the city’s north.
‘Of all the protests that we have put up with, how about a quarter million of us gather in the CBD to take the City/State back, before EVERY previous march will have been pointless,’ Newman tweeted on Sunday night.
‘And hopefully a state day of coordination. Any takers? #StateofSurvival.’
A Victoria Police spokesman said the force already had its sights set on those they claim are ‘coordinating and encouraging protest activity’ on Saturday.
World-class MMA Fighter Vik Grujic responded to Newman’s tweet by urging him to attend the Freedom Day mass gathering planned for that day in Melbourne’s CBD – to which the footy great replied ‘OK’.
‘Victoria Police expects to make further arrests over coming days in respect to individuals suspected of inciting illegal activity,’ the spokesman said.
‘Organising and participating in this protest would be a serious and blatant breach of the Chief Health Officer’s directions and jeopardises the health of the entire community.
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‘Those still thinking of attending the CBD to protest can expect a swift and firm response from police.’
The state’s police force added its officers would not hesitate in issuing $1,652 fines or making arrests if breaches of Victoria’s public health orders occur.
In a video post shared by Channel Seven journalist Paul Dowsley on Monday, Newman said he intended to gather with protesters in the streets of Melbourne on Saturday if COVID-19 restrictions in the city were not eased.
‘They probably shouldnt [gather] but if the government act responsibly then we will act responsibly and not go there,’ he said.
Victorian Police take a man’s details in Dandenong in Melbourne’s south-east on Thursday. The force said it already has its sights set on those they claim are ‘coordinating and encouraging protest activity’ on Saturday
‘Just give us a bit of easing of restrictions. I might use my hour’s freedom and wear a mask and go into the city as part of my recreation and exercise and be part of the gathering.’
After one Melburnian suggested Newman had ‘incited a riot’ with his comments on Twitter, the footy great added: ‘There’ll be no rioting. No looting. No arson. No violence. Just an expression of desperation for our sanity.’
His tweet sparked 1,800 likes and hundreds of comments on a day when Victoria recorded 114 new cases and another 11 deaths.
Sunrise host Edwina Bartholomew said on Monday morning the tweet was ill-advised.
‘Very irresponsible from Sam Newman,’ she said.
‘That’s someone who was running for Melbourne mayor. If you want to be in lockdown for another six months then sure – join the protest.’
Defending his position on the draconian restrictions, Newman said it was the state government who were being irresponsible by enforcing economically-crippling social distancing restrictions.
‘If the Victorian government stop being irresponsible through this blanket lockdown, then we’ll stop being irresponsible by urging mass rallies,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.
Sam Newman was flooded with responses following his plea to Melburnians on Sunday night
Sunrise host Edwina Bartholomew hit out at Newman’s ‘irresponsible’ call for 250,000 people to protest against Melbourne’s draconian Stage Four lockdown
‘Give the hospitality, leisure, education, business and public service enterprises in this state a paradigm for a responsible return to civilization, rather than the hysteria being disseminated, while the country and world pushes on, carefully.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Newman for further comment on the threat of arrest issued by Victoria Police.
Fellow Melburnians desperate to regain their freedom have also joined the bandwagon.
Melburnians were out and about enjoying the weather on Saturday, despite stage 4 lockdown
‘Just tell me when and where never protested before but this is the most important thing we have faced in my lifetime. We ordinary Victorians must take our state back,’ one man wrote.
Another added: ‘A protest at some point needs to happen so our political class can get a sense of the real opposition to…
Charlie Coë For Daily Mail Australia
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