COVID conspiracy theorists plot protests
Coronavirus conspiracy theorists are planning a "stand for Victoria" freedom march to be held in major cities across Australia on Saturday.
Posts in a Facebook group with a following of nearly 33,000 people reveal plans to gather en-masse at local Anzac memorial sites at noon across Australia's capital cities, except Melbourne which is subject to stage four coronavirus restrictions.
One member of the group posted a 15-minute video this week on social media calling on followers to "get together for every single Victorian".
In the video, viewed more than 81,000 times, the conspiracy theorist also calls on Australians to stand outside their homes and "burn your mask, breathe and declare your national sovereignty".
It comes a week after two men planning a protest where hundreds of people were set to "fill up the streets" and defy Melbourne's lockdown last weekend were arrested and charged with incitement.
Police seized mobile phones and a computer while executing the search warrants.
A 41-year-old man from Mooroolbark and a 41-year-old Chirnside Park man will front court early next year.
Current advice from the Australian Department of Health prohibits large public gatherings and social occasions due to the risk of COVID-19.
Melbourne police have previously warned of a "dangerous" rise in people resisting lockdown measures and called for an end to the "sovereign citizen" movement.
Earlier this month Victoria's Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said Victoria Police had seen an "emergence" of "concerning groups of people who classify themselves as 'sovereign citizens'".
"On at least four occasions in the last week we've had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details," he said.
Police have been contacted for comment.
Originally published as COVID conspiracy theorists plot protests