“The demonstrators have shown total contempt for their fellow citizens who are currently doing it hard. “
Hundreds of police responded to the Sydney protest, with several protesters pulled from the crowd in handcuffs by officers. Police said they imposed nearly 100 fines and arrested 57 people.
Melbourne police said six people were arrested.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott said a team of detectives would scan the footage to identify and charge as many people as possible in the coming days.
“What we saw today in Sydney is unfortunately something we saw in cities that we all shake our heads,” Mr Elliott told media after the protest.
“It’s pretty clear you know, Sydney isn’t immune to morons either. “
He also said he expected the rally to spike in Covid-19 cases and urged everyone who attended to get tested and self-isolate.
Organizers called the rally a “freedom” rally and made it public on social media pages frequently used to spread misinformation about vaccines and conspiracy theories.