The Lifeline Bookfair will not open its doors today amid a deteriorating security situation at Exhibition Park where ‘freedom’ protesters have been camping.
Lifeline said safety was its top priority.
“We will keep you posted on our opening hours if we are able to open tomorrow,” it said.
The ‘Freedom Convoy to Canberra’ anti-vaccine mandate protesters who were moved on from the Patrick White Lawns next to the National Library have been camping at EPIC, but police announced yesterday that they would have to leave by Sunday to make way for preparations for the Canberra Show.
Police had warned of more protests over the weekend, including at the AIS Vaccination Clinic and near Parliament, and that protester numbers were expected to swell.
ACT Policing said there was a significant influx of people at EPIC overnight, fences were moved and new camps were set up in non-camping areas.
“This unauthorised camping has taken up all service and parking areas allocated to the Lifeline Bookfair,” a spokesperson said.
Police are on scene and will continue to monitor the situation.
Police expect protest activity to continue today at locations across Canberra, particularly between EPIC and Parliament House.
They say drivers should avoid roads around EPIC all day and Northbourne Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue this morning as protesters move from EPIC to the Parliamentary Triangle.
“ACT Policing has allocated all available resources to manage this significant event and our priority remains the safety and security of all people in the ACT,” the spokesperson said.
The Capital Region Farmers Market at EPIC had already been cancelled due to “safety concerns and logistics for customers”.