NSW Police pursue ‘foreign actor’ as organiser of lockdown protests

Evin PriestNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Police hold fears that lockdowns staged across NSW on Tuesday were organised online “by someone who wasn’t even in the country”.

NSW Police confirmed to NCA NewsWire that it was likely a foreign actor had organised protests on Tuesday that resulted in more than 150 arrests and almost 600 fines.

Almost 80 unauthorised protests against lockdowns, which targeted local council chambers, were held in areas including Sutherland, Blacktown, Fairfield and Liverpool.

In regional NSW, protests were also held in Byron Bay, Grafton, Lismore, Dubbo and Shellharbour.

“International interference is a line of inquiry into the statewide protests,” police told NCA NewsWire.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said on 2GB on Tuesday that police were “certainly aware that the person that was actually involved is not even in the country at present”.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard slammed the protests in his 11am Covid-19 update on Tuesday.

Police Presser
Camera IconDeputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon condemned the rallies. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short Credit: News Corp Australia

“You will always have a certain group who unfortunately are spending more time on social media and listening to people with crackpot ideas than you will have reading the scientific journals and talking to doctors,” he said.

Three police officers sustained minor injuries in altercations with protesters at Raymond Terrace in the Hunter and at Lismore and Murwillumbah in the state’s Northern Rivers.

Mr Lanyon condemned the rallies.

“Today’s actions only further serve to jeopardise the freedoms of those people who are doing the right thing,” he told reporters in Sydney.

In late July, rallies in Sydney and Melbourne CBDs were reportedly organised by German-based group Worldwide Demonstration, which has helped to co-ordinate international protests, including in various Australian cities.

Camera Icon‘Freedom’ protests were also held on the NSW/Queensland border on August 22. NCA NewsWire / Scott Powick Credit: News Corp Australia

Originally published as NSW Police pursue ‘foreign actor’ as organiser of lockdown protests

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