Six arrested as rival protestors clash in Melton
SIX people have been arrested in Melton today as anti-Islam and anti-racism protestors clashed in Melbourne’s west.
Police were forced to use capsicum spray to subdue violent protestors as small fights broke out on the fringes of the rally.
One man was arrested for allegedly interfering with a police horse, and five others for weapons offences and riotous behaviour.
The protest was organised by Reclaim Australia in front of the Melton Civic Centre, as part of a wider national rally, with similar protests in other capital cities.
Up to 500 protestors on each side showed up in Melton, separated by police lines, reinforced by police horses and officers in riot gear.
It’s believed Melton was chosen following the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s (VCAT) decision to overrule the local council’s ruling against a planned mosque in Melton.
But, No Room For Racism counter protestors claim the real focus of the rally is on a wider stance on anti-immigration, anti-Islam and racist ideologies.
Earlier this week, a Baybrook man associated with the United Patriots Front was arrested for possessing a prohibited weapon after police received intelligence that several people were planning on bringing weapons to the rally.
It’s the fourth time in recent months that the two opposing groups have clashed.