Yesterday, a large group of anti-Islam protestors turned out in force at a planned rally in the Melbourne suburb of Melton.
There were several groups – United Patriots Front, Reclaim Australia, True Blue Crew, Patriot Defence League Australia, Rise Up Australia Party and Rights For Bendigo Residents – and they were all protesting against plans to build a mosque and possible Islamic school in Melton.
They were met by activists from No Room for Racism, Freedom Socialist Party, Antifa, CFMEU, Campaign Against Racism And Fascism and Socialist Alternative. All up, an estimated 1500 people clashed.
Another 500 police were required to control it all. By the time it was broken up, there were seven arrests, including one person charged for punching a police horse. Three were arrested for possessing a weapon.
Bizarrely, the anti-Islam front turned on itself at times.
Rise Up Australia called out Reclaim Australia protestors who covered their faces with masks and Australian flags, saying “nazis and facists” should go home.
Police eventually held back the anti-racism activists to allow the Reclaim Australia march to proceed from the Melton civic centre to Hannah Watts Park.
Police in body armour and on horseback spent six hours trying to keep both sides apart.
Capsicum spray was used and three people were treated for injuries.
At several stages, the Reclaim Australia protestors broke out into the national anthem:
— Cassie Zervos (@cassiezervos) November 21, 2015
Sparking endless ridicule about how they seemed to ignore the words:
— Rusty (@Rusty1808) November 21, 2015
Members of No Room for Racism played John Farnham’s “You’re The Voice” through a loudspeaker.
One Reclaim Australia protester told The Age she was worried “mosques could lead to terrorism”.
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