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Police blockade Melbourne gym where COVID-19 conspiracy theorists meet

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The COVID-19 conspiracy theory meetings were organized by MMA fighter Nick Patterson. 

A woman was arrested at a police roadblock near a combat sports gym in Melbourne where at least 50 coronavirus conspiracy theorists have been meeting.

Police reportedly smashed the woman’s car window and forcibly removed her from the vehicle after she refused to identify herself to the officers.

According to Daily Mail, the woman told one of the officers that ’this is unlawful’ as she was taken into custody, to which a policeman responded ‘no, it’s not’.

The roadblock was set up near the Combat Athlete gym in Cranbourne, where at least 50 people have been meeting to discuss coronavirus conspiracy theories. The meetings were organized by Nick Patterson, a former MMA fighter who founded the gym.

Patterson’s weekly meetings took place despite restrictions limiting gatherings of more than two people were still in place. He also founded a website which “acts as a resource for anti-mask conspiracy theorists, including the script they read out to police, and the dubious legal argument behind it.”

Nicknamed ‘Banjo,’ Patterson was a lightweight fighter with an 18-6 professional record, which included wins against former UFC fighters Ben Wall and Bernardo Magalhaes. He claimed in a 2015 interview that he has had “contact” with the UFC and was just “waiting for an opportunity to fight on the show.”

It remains unclear whether the woman arrested at the roadblock was a member of the group, though it should be noted that the group always refuse to cooperate with the police. The woman has since been charged with hindering police, refusing to identify herself, and refusing an alcohol and drug test.