Protestors are gathering in Melbourne’s Federation Square today after an anti-Muslim banner was hung during the AFL game between Collingwood and Richmond on Friday night.
Far-right group the United Patriots Front claimed to be behind the banner which read “Go Pies! Stop the Mosques” and was hoisted up in the second quarter of the match under the scoreboard.
The banner was eventually removed by MCG security but its appearance at the AFL game has sparked outrage from attendees and TV viewers who have called it “racist” and “disgusting”.
“Our game has a history of egalitarianism and inclusion, and we must make sure that it continues to be a place where all Australians feel welcome,” said AFL chief Gillon McLachlan.
“The sentiment on that banner, and the use of our game to push divisive and ignorant commentary will be rejected by our supporters and our clubs.”
The protest began at 2pm and is being closely monitored by Victorian police.
The AAP reports that the UPF had originally scheduled a rally marking the anniversary of an anti-Muslim rally held last year.
However, they backed out after anti-racism campaigners also organised a protest for Sunday afternoon.
Here are scenes from the protest so far:
— Friends of the Earth (@FoEAustralia) April 3, 2016
— Jared Mason (@Jaredmason1979) April 3, 2016
— Berna Kaplan (@bernakpln) April 3, 2016
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