Tensions yesterday reached boiling point at St Kilda beach in Melbourne, Australia, as hundreds of protesters faced off in a screaming match over immigration policy, with minor scuffles breaking out.
Scores of police, including some with riot shields and on horseback, were on hand to keep the groups apart. A police boat kept watch from the water and two helicopters circled overhead.
Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson organized the rally at the beach to discuss Melbourne’s youth crime and African gang problems.
“Our country is under attack,” Cottrell said over a megaphone. “Africans are 77 times more likely to commit home invasion. That’s not racism, that’s a fact.”
Australian Senator Fraser Anning flew down from Queensland State to attend the event and Erikson thanked him for his presence.
“The left-wing media likes to hang tags on us like neo-Nazis, racists and facists, [but] they are just ordinary, hard-working Australians who pay their taxes,” Anning told reporters. “Australia has had enough. I think this is the start of something bigger. The revolution will eventually start. People have had enough of these people and they have got to be sent back to where they came from.”
Some protesters wore Australian and Eureka flags as capes and chanted “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi,” and “rise without fear.”
Counterprotesters shouted “Nazi scum not welcome here.”
A man in a pickup truck equipped with speakers and a megaphone drove down the Esplanade in St Kilda chanting: “Sudanese are welcome, racists are not.”
Protesters allegedly surrounded his vehicle, broke the speakers and ran off with the generator.
Later the two protest groups and police lines left the foreshore area and spilled out onto the road and walked toward Luna Park.
In one heated confrontation a protester broke through police lines and tried to grab a banner from three counter-protesters.
Police sprayed capsicum spray and used rubber pellets before arresting the protester.
Paramedics were helping to treat two women who were sprayed in the eyes.
Reporters saw at least six people being led away by police.
An 18-year-old man was arrested on the beach after being found with a “dangerous article” at about 12:20pm, police said.
“Victoria Police respects people’s right to protest peacefully, but will not tolerate those who break the law,” they said.
Police superintendent Tony Silva said there had been three arrests, including one for breach of bail.
A number of others had been briefly detained and then released, Silva said, adding that he hoped the public felt reassured that police had the situation under control.
One local resident, who gave her name as Janet, said the protests did not represent St Kilda.
“People should just calm down,” she said.
Grandmother Kimberley Neave from Inverloch said she had come to the rally because she was upset with the direction of the country and the amount of immigration.
Earlier, Greek migrant Vas Karakassidis told the rally that she knew what it was like to grow up feeling like you don’t belong.
“This beach always welcomed everyone,” she said.
Cottrell and Erikson said that the rally was a response to recent incidents in which young people have mugged others in the Port Phillip Bay area.
Erikson last week confronted a group of young men of African backgrounds who were playing soccer at St Kilda, prompting police intervention.
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for