NSW Police Force have arrested five people during anti-racism and anti-Islam rallies in Sydney’s CBD today.
Around 150 protestors gathered in Martin Place this morning as Reclaim Australia continued its rallies against the “Islamisation of Australia”.
According to the ABC, Reclaim Australia is calling on supporters in what has been described as “a public response to the shock of recent atrocities of Islam’s radicals both inside and outside of Australia”.
A 40-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer before another 57-year-old man was arrested a short time later over alleged offensive behaviour.
Another three men, two aged 19 and one 35, were also arrested for breaching the peace and were forced to leave the protests.
No charges have been laid so far.
“We were clear from the start that we would not tolerate any criminal, anti-social or dangerous behaviour and we had sufficient police in place to ensure the safety of participants, local residents and visitors in the CBD,” said Assistant Commissioner Alan Clarke.
“There was a minority who chose to ignore police directions and they were removed from the area immediately,” Clarke said.
Yesterday, Reclaim Australia and anti-racism activists clashed with police in Melbourne following protests near Parliament House.
Police used capsicum spray to keep the two sides apart after 50 Reclaim Australia protesters were confronted by an anti-racism group. There were four arrests.
— Mark Doman (@MarkDoman) July 18, 2015
“We will not tolerate any criminal, anti-social or dangerous behaviour,” Clarke said in the lead up to today’s protests.
“If you choose to do the wrong thing you’ll be removed and dealt with appropriately.
“The same goes for anyone who attempts to cause disharmony or incite conflict with those who may hold opposing views.”
Australia has been found to be a place for ISIS recruitment with reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier this year, Reclaim Australia held 16 rallies across Australia protesting against Islamic extremism and minority groups who want to change Australian culture.
One Nation political party leader Pauline Hanson said the protests were not racist.
“I’m not a racist — criticism is not racism. I am a proud Australian fighting for our democracy, culture, and way of life. This rally being held across our nation today was called out of sheer frustration from ordinary Australians who fear for the future of our nation and the mindset of our politicians who don’t appear to be listening.”
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