Right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos is facing a bill of more than $50,000 for 300 police turning up to deal with protests during a speaking engagement in Melbourne this week.
His talk at the Melbourne Pavilion on Monday night saw around 500 protestors and 50 right-wing supporters clash. Riot police intervened, charging the crowd when violence broke out and using capsicum spray. Five police officers were injured when rocks and bottles were thrown at them. Two people were arrested.
Victorian police minister Lisa Neville told Melbourne’s 3AW last night that “they will certainly be getting a bill for it”.
“There is a definable cost to this, Victoria Police have some costings per officer, depending on the seniority officers,” she said.
The controversial British commentator has been on a commercial speaking tour in Australia, and it’s standard procedure for police to bill organisers at commercial events, where their presence is required, from pop concerts to sporting events.
“Police do some community-based events which are not-for-profit, but for these sort of rallies and also for the AFL and those big events there is an agreement around the cost,” Neville said.
Yiannopoulos spoke in Sydney’s inner west the following night, with seven people arrested for a range of offences, including assaulting and hindering police. He also spoke at Parliament House in Canberra as a guest of NSW senator David Leyonhjelm.
The provocative 33-year-old former editor of alt-right media website Breitbart News has turned railing against feminism, Islam, social justice and political correctness into a money-spinning show, sparking protests along the way. In 2015, he visited UK and US universities in a speaking show titled “The Dangerous Faggot Tour”.
But after footage emerged of Yiannopoulos speaking in favour of sex between 13-year-old boys and adults earlier this year, he resigned from Breitbart and publishers cancelled his autobiography.
He was banned from Twitter last year after he called Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones a “black dude”.
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