Several activists involved in the protests against the International Mining And Resources Conference (IMARC) 2018 last October had their homes raided and searched by Victoria Police on January 18. They were arrested, detained and interrogated and had phones, computers and other belongings seized.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the Victorian state government’s March 29 announcement to arm its police with semi-automatic, military-grade weapons was an early April Fool’s joke.
After all, the announcement came in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting in the United States. It also came after the Crime Statistics Agency published data on March 15 showing that crime rates have fallen by 9.9%.