Violence during Australian far-right and anti-racism protest

Anti-racism and right-wing groups clash in Australia’s Melbourne on Saturday

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Australian police have detained five people during a clash between anti-racism protesters from the United Patriots Front (UPF) and right-wing Reclaim Australia group on Saturday.

Police used pepper spray to impose order while the two groups collided. Some of the protesters tried to break the police barrier but police forced the protesters back.

The protest occasionally went out of control, with some protesters having to be dispersed using pepper spray.

Milk and water were poured in the eyes of the injured while on the ground.

The protests were intended to be peaceful but protesters wearing masks broke into the crowd and clashed with the police.

"A few Nazis came along and tried to break our line and police lunged over and started spraying from behind," protester said.

Anti-racism protesters claim that the police were brutal and attacked the crowd who were protesting peacefully.

Protesters said that the police were "brutally attacking anti-racist demonstrators with pepper spray."

An anti-racism protester, identifying himself as Bill, told Australian channel ABC that he was sprayed with pepper spray even though police had told him exactly where to stand.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino, condemned the protests, saying "people don't like seeing ugly scenes like they're seeing today."

"The message to all Victorians is that the spreading of hatred and the spreading of bigotry is not tolerated," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies