Australian police use pepper spray to stop clashes at anti-immigration rally

Claudine Rigal
Juin 25, 2017

Hundreds of protesters, some masked, clashed with police officers on the streets of Melbourne today as tensions between far-left and far-right wing extremist groups boiled over.

An anti-racism protester was warned by police for yelling at the far-right True Blue Crew.

Five people were also treated by Ambulance Victoria after being pepper-sprayed by police for breaking through a police cordon.

"Police were forced to deploy capsicum spray when a small number of protestors attempted to breach a police line, with one person given aftercare as a result of the capsicum spray", a spokeswoman said.

TV footage showed nationalist protesters holding Australian flags on poles or draped around their shoulders, while opposition protesters held placards with anti-racism messages.

Right wing and anti-racist protesters have squared off in Melbourne, with opposing rallies taking place in the city's central business district.

It was the first time federal terrorism laws had been used to target such right-wing groups.

"They have always initiated the violence, they are the ones who have carried weapons", he said.

The march, called the "Australian Pride March" was organised to combat "anti-Australian agenda to destroy Australia Day, Anzac Day and any remaining Australian pride gaining momentum", according to the group's Facebook page.

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