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The Border Force Just Had One Of Those Days Where Everything Went Wrong

Things did not go well today.

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In case you missed it the Australian Border Force has had a really bad, terrible, no good day. There were press releases, protests, press conferences and a really weird tweet. Here's how it all went down.

The day started off with a tweet about diversity... featuring these four people.

The diversity of our workforce is what strengthens us. Join our dynamic team: http://t.co/PMh1dj67nf

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But everyone forgot about that when it was revealed that Border Force agents would be hitting the streets of Melbourne this weekend for seemingly random checks.

Wait… Australian Border Force (fmr Immigration) is conducting a public transport operation in inner city Melbourne?

“ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with,” the press release said. Remember that. It's important later.

This was concerning to people who felt it sounded a little... Orwellian.

Soooooo this isn't great news for people who look like I do...........

Border Force: 'Papers, please' #auspol

Hey @ABFComm why are your goons threatening to harass ordinary citizens going about their lives in Melbourne?

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This terrifies me to my very core. How many white people will be stopped? I'm am disgusted by this @TonyAbbottMHR. https://t.co/PZcpbTvZTA

As the outrage grew, the ABF attempted to clarify.

The ABF will assist Victoria Police in an operation to target crime in the #Melbourne CBD this weekend 1/4

ABF officers will assist partner agencies by conducting background visa checks on individuals who are referred to us 2/4

The ABF does not and will not stop people at random in the streets & does not target on the basis of race, religion, or ethnicity 3/4

. @DIBPAus has regularly conducted compliance activity of this nature in the past. This responsibility will now be continued by ABF 4/4

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This didn't really help, because despite claiming that the ABF wouldn't be stopping people on the streets, their own press release said the opposite.

So people quickly mobilised, arranging a protest outside Flinders St Station.

Meanwhile protesters outside stop traffic on Flinders and Swanston Sts. #OperationFortitude

Crowd chant 'you'll always lose in Melbourne' at #BorderForce protest As a #freo supporter,don't like the sound of it

Meanwhile, the protesters were getting ready for a Victorian police media conference which was due to be held at 2pm.

#BorderForce protestors still blocking flinders/Swanston intersection, police have set up road blocks @3AW693

But that got cancelled too :(

Please be advised that the Operation Fortitude media opportunity has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Then the whole operation got cancelled. No ABF officers on the streets. No random checks. Nothing.

Facebook: victoriapolice

Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Rob Stott at rob.stott@buzzfeed.com.

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