Violent scenes have erupted again on the streets of Melbourne, with a splinter group from the self-appointed United Patriots Front clashing with anti-racism, fascism, and bigotry counter-protesters as the former attempted to storm the entrance to the Richmond Town Hall yesterday afternoon.
The UPF had assembled a group of around 70 people to protest what they perceived to be the violent tactics of the left following a previous protest during the now infamous “Reclaim Australia” rally in Melbourne’s Federation Square at the beginning of April.
Though certain media outlets had labelled the group as “anti-extremism,” this particular spade needs to be accurately identified as a group of racists with distinct anti-Muslim and Islamophobic agendas.
The group had organised their rally to coincide with an Islamic Council of Victoria community forum in Carlton, as well as an anti-racism forum organised by Richmond City Councilman Stephen Jolly.
But upon arrival at Richmond Town Hall, the UPF was met by a group of around 300 anti-racism and fascism counter-protestors, and a police contingent of around 60.
Police formed lines and attempted to keep the two groups separated as they converged on the hall, temporarily shutting down Bridge Road. However, Police lines were broken and sections of the groups clashed on the steps of the hall, with punches thrown.
The counter protestors loudly chanted “Nazi scum, fuck off” and “Muslims are welcome, racists are not,” and the events saw at least one incident of a passerby being verbally abused and vilified by members of the UPF contingent sporting Swastikas and Nazi-related tattoos and clothing as her family waited in the car.
Horrible scenes yesterday from the Reclaim Australia rally. This woman was vilified by protesters displaying Nazi Tattoos. Her family hid in the car while she stood her ground yelling that she was Australian too.
Prior to the event, UPF organisers had made a Facebook post detailing, with great vitriol, their reasons for staging the event.
“Remember the reason we are fighting against these mongrels! On the 4th April these people assaulted an old lady, disrupted what would have been a peaceful rally, they threw horse shit at the cops and let’s not forget they burnt the Australian flag! They do these things and then have the nerve to say we are against democracy, we’re Nazi’s, we’re [sic] are criminals!”
— Anarchist Affinity (@AAffinity) May 31, 2015
But the problem with all this is that people are sure as shit going to a hell of a lot of trouble to ensure they make it clear that it’s not actually about race or racism. On that side of the fence, we hear the message being bleated black and blue about not supporting Nazism, yet *literally* every time they manifest in public the iconography is never too far behind. It’s all very well and good to say you’re not one thing, but when the physical evidence repeats it’s a point that’s beyond hard to disbelieve.
After all, if my Grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon.
via ABC News.