The Melbourne demonstrators assembled to march against Australia's lockdowns, executed to curb the spread of the delta variant.
During the demonstration, the 700 protesters charged at Australian police, knocking down and crushing several of them. Victoria Police said six officers required hospitalization, according to Reuters .
"It was extremely disappointing to see another example of a small minority of the community showing a complete disregard for the health and safety of not only police, but each and every other Victorian," Victoria Police said in a statement.
Evelyn Rae, a writer for Caldron Pool, posted footage of the clash between the police and protesters on social media , writing that Saturday was "a very dark day in Australian history ."
Australia returned to lockdowns in late July because of the delta variant. Limitations include the end of everything but the most fundamental services, such as church meetings. Masks are also needed to be worn everywhere at all times.
A council in New South Wales shot and killed multiple impounded dogs in August, indicating concerns over COVID-19.
The Bourke Shire Council killed the dogs to stop volunteers from traveling to pick up the animals, in line with their understanding of COVID-19 restrictions, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Office of Local Government is investigating the dogs’ executions and said it's assessing to understand whether any animal cruelty laws were infringed.
“OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” a spokesman from the government agency said.
COVID-19 has been relatively asleep in Cobar, the city where the pound resides, according to NSW Health.
“We are deeply distressed and completely appalled by this callous dog shooting and we totally reject the council's unacceptable justifications that this killing was apparently undertaken as part of a COVID-safe plan,” said animal liberation campaigner Lisa Ryan.
The Office of Local Government previously issued advice to all councils about how to operate pounds safely and effectively during the pandemic.
COVID-19 is still alive in Australia, where there are nearly 20,000 active cases . The virus has been responsible for the deaths of 1,162 residents, with 1,468 currently hospitalized.