Following on from violent clashes between protesters, counter-protesters and police yesterday in Melbourne, where capsicum spray was deployed to disperse swelling crowds, a protest was held in Martin Place today – organised by controversial anti-Islam group Reclaim Australia.
Melbourne’s rally attracted heated criticism over how police controlled crowds yesterday.
Hey @VictoriaPolice. How’s it feel pepper spraying anti-racism protesters & high-fiving Reclaim Australia boneheads? pic.twitter.com/1x0opzX67W
— Lindsay McDougall (@doctormcdougall) July 18, 2015
From anecdotal accounts, Sydney’s rally attracted far less violence than Melbourne’s event yesterday; regardless, a certain level of shit naturally went down.
With that, both rallies have wrapped. No violence today but plenty of horse shit. #NoRoomForRacism #ReclaimAustralia pic.twitter.com/bYTccEQQbv
— Honi Soit (@honi_soit) July 19, 2015
While Reclaim Australia supporters and counter-protesters were separated by a good few hundred metres on Martin Place by a police stronghold to curb clashes, the numbers between sides presented a huge disparity – some estimated anti-racism supporters outnumbered Reclaim Australia by at least twofold, with The Guardian Australia reporting that only “about 50” Reclaim Australia supporters were present.
The counter rally definitely outnumbers the #ReclaimAustralia crowd. Around double the turn out pic.twitter.com/vRR9xR8d0B
— Ruby PS (@rubyprosser) July 19, 2015
Three arrests were made at the Sydney rally, including at least one anti-racism supporter, according to reports. Despite some clashes between protesters and police, no major injuries were reported at the scene. Anti-racism supporters chanted “Nazi scum off our streets“.
A violent #Nazi just tried to attack group of left wing activists at Martin Place #ReclaimAustralia #NoRoomForRacism pic.twitter.com/aSNs1JptQb
— Serkan Ozturk (@SerkanTheWriter) July 19, 2015
A group of Reclaim Australia supporters potentially missed the costume memo:
#ReclaimAustralia for Sparta… pic.twitter.com/3HOX311CjQ
— David Marler (@Qldaah) July 19, 2015
One old mate was really fucking confused:
This dick’s got the wrong flag #NoRoomForRacism pic.twitter.com/SyUOdePwvC
— The bellowing elk (@grAntlerMensch) July 19, 2015
Here you go, Tony Abbott, here’s your next election campaign, courtesy of #ReclaimAustralia. pic.twitter.com/CxAhixAxZ5
— Jo Soucek (@Jo_Soucek) July 19, 2015
And some sweet ladies advocating for & simply couldn’t be dealt with, tbh:
Other protests are being held in capital cities around the country today, including Adelaide, where someone had the audacity to needlessly bring Vegemite into the debate:
& In Adelaide. They Dress up as a Vegemite tube to show jihadists they mean business! #austalia #reclaimaustralia pic.twitter.com/97T0pY5t0f
— Yassir Morsi (@YMorsi) July 19, 2015
Counter-protesters in the nation’s capital chanted, “you’ll always lose in Canberra.”
“You’ll always lose in Canberra” #NoRoomForRacism #auspol #ReclaimAustralia pic.twitter.com/hAXLaXXLjs
— Hannah McCann (@binarythis) July 19, 2015
In Mackay, controversial Coalition MP George Christensen addressed the Reclaim Australia rally, despite strong calls on the PM to ban his colleague from attending.
.@GChristensenMP: We are protesting the culture of radical Islam. @abcnews #ReclaimAustralia pic.twitter.com/k0CULUoNUq
— Jonathan Hair (@JonathanHair) July 19, 2015
Arrests were also made at a rally in Brisbane.
Two members of Reclaim Australia restrained by police and escorted out of Brisbane rally #auspol pic.twitter.com/a30Z9cdbIt
— Jessica Bahr (@_jessicabahr) July 19, 2015
Dramatic scenes in Sydney:
That’ll do, Reclaim Australia. That’ll do. ‘Til next time.
Images by Mark Kolbe via Getty.