Rosh Hashanah rally in Ripponlea ends with fines, cameraman in hospital
It was not until 7:45 p.m. that the officers contacted the people inside. However, as this was happening, another group of community members entered the area and began to “distract the police from their role,” he said, and the police walked away from the gate. .
It was then that the people inside left the building, some of them on neighboring rooftops, to escape the attention of the police. Police are investigating whether the group that showed up and distracted the police did so on purpose.
Assistant Commissioner Barrett called the behavior “appalling” and said police had tried to act in good faith to negotiate peacefully with those inside.
“I’m really disappointed that these people chose to do it after we acted the way we did. I am also appalled if the people who came and distracted the police at that time when we were negotiating an exit did so on purpose because, in my opinion, this is a blatant attempt to obstruct a police investigation ” , did he declare.
When asked if the police should have tried to enter the premises earlier today, Mr Barrett said he was comfortable with the tactics used by the police.
“It’s a real balance in how we keep the community safe… we were in control.
“When you think about the number of kids there, it would be incredibly terrifying for them, really, when their parents put them at risk, not just a health risk, but in terms of the risk of raping a medical officer of health. chief. direction, to have the police then to force the entry.
Six people will each be fined $ 5,452 for violating COVID-19 restrictions.
Mr Barrett said that “the community is rightly outraged, it puts everyone’s safety at risk.
“This causes us to delay the relaxation of restrictions by the behavior of these people, not just yesterday, but when someone gathers in the state of Victoria.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said he was concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism following the incident.
“The game of racist blame and denunciation has begun, especially on social media, and the Jewish community, which respects and obeys the law, should not be subjected to hatred, scapegoats and defamation for actions of a few, ”Dr Abramovich mentioned.
“I am very concerned that this disturbing episode will serve as an excuse for some to not only take hold of the fear and trafficking in malicious stereotypes and demonization, but to declare that this is the season open to the Jewish community and incite to violence. “
“We know that in times of crisis those who wish to sow discord can stifle the voices of reason, and there is a real risk that such singling out and denigrating Jews will take on a life of their own and end in tragedy. .
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews thanked Jewish community leaders for speaking out against what he described as very bad behavior.
“Their partnership with our government is a partnership of safety, it is about trying to keep people out of the hospital and limit the spread of this virus and I am sincerely grateful to the religious and community leaders in the community. Jewish who stood up and called it, ”Mr. Andrews said.
“I don’t buy this line because people aren’t tech-savvy [and don’t know about restrictions]. This has been going on for 20 months, everyone knows it is not new. “It is not fair.”
He said he hoped the rally wouldn’t lead to new cases or that people wouldn’t end up in the hospital “because of these choices that have been made.”
“But again, I just want to reiterate how grateful I am to the religious and cultural leaders in the Jewish community for being very clear on this and calling this out. I am very, very grateful to them.
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria expressed its deep disappointment and condemned the actions of a small group of people.
“The actions of a few do not represent the vast majority of our community who celebrated Rosh Hashanah at home only with the people they live with, and just like the community at large, continues to follow the rules,” he said. a spokesperson said in a statement. statement Wednesday morning.
The spokesperson said the council and other organizations have gone to great lengths to educate the community and encourage them to follow the rules and celebrate at home.
Mr Barrett said police were concerned about the backlash against the Jewish community after the incident.
“I always worry about the behavior of the community at large. What we have here in this region, and in Victoria, is a wonderful multicultural community and a Jewish community, as I said, is appalled at what is a very small proportion of the community, ”he said. -he declares.
“We see members from all parts of our community breaking CHO guidelines; we only saw him this week with a high profile Instagram influencer. So it’s not just the Jewish community or a small proportion of the Jewish community that rapes, it’s everyone. “
Fewer than 10 people marched before the media was forced to pull away from the scene when a group of people who had gathered outside became aggressive, pushing cameras and shouting insults at reporters.
A cameraman filming the scene said he was assaulted by a man with a blow to the head and was treated at Alfred Hospital for a concussion.
He said Age the man was one of those standing outside, who occasionally confronted the police and the media, and not one of those leaving the synagogue.
Rosh Hashanah is part of the two-day Jewish New Year and is traditionally marked by a day of prayer and festive meals.
In an email distributed to community members on Friday, Board Chairman Daniel Aghion said, “This year, as our community celebrates Rosh Hashanah, staying away keeps us together.
With Cassandra Morgan
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