Anti-Islam marchers at the Reclaim Australia rally held in Perth in April. Photo: Adrian BeattieRally organisers say ‘they stand against extremism’
Two anti-racism protesters were handcuffed after a melee with police at the Reclaim Australia rally at Parliament House on Sunday.
About 250 protesters for the Reclaim Australia movement were greeted by a counter rally of equal numbers at Solidarity Park.
Some of the anti-racism activists, who were carrying banners and signs and heckling the right-wing group’s speeches, had gathered at close proximity behind the Reclaim Australia camp, chanting “Nazi scum off our streets”.
As the heckling grew more agitated police dragged a man from the crowd.
A group of about 50 other protesters rushed to the man’s aid and a number of police on horseback had to intervene between protesters and the police officers.
One man was handcuffed and brought to the northern side of Parliament Place.
Another man was also removed from the crowd and put into handcuffs.
About 40 police officers, some on horseback, were keeping a watchful eye on the opposing rallies and built lines of separation between the protesting groups.
Danielle of Fremantle brought her two teenaged children along to show support for Australian Muslims.
“I want Australian Muslims to know that not all Australians feel the way the Reclaim Australia supporters do,” she said.
“I’m embarrassed and shamed by them.”
Members of Anonymous – ‘an idea, not a group’, said they believed the federal government was causing the problem in creating a climate of fear.
“The threat isn’t Islam – it’s the government selling our future,” an Anonymous member said.
Craig from southern River was there to express his point of view as part of the Reclaim Australia movement.
“I’m sick of the hypocrisy and double standards, mate.”
He said he believed a kind of reverse racism had entered the Australian culture.
“It’s like their (Islamic) culture is more important than ours. My 10-year-old had never been in a nativity play because it might offend someone. No one’s banning Ramadan,” he said.
WA campaign group United Against Racism and Bigotry had called for people to challenge “racists and far-right activists” gathering at the historic site of the 1997 “Workers’ Embassy” via social media.
Earlier UABR spokesperson Miranda Wood said that there was no doubting the intent of the Reclaim Australia protesters who were also staging their rally at the park.
“Let’s be clear about who these people are. These people are racist. These people are dangerous. They openly oppose multiculturalism and immigration,” she said.
“We’re rallying to say these people have no right bringing their violent hate speech to our public spaces.”
Organisers for Reclaim Australia, who describe themselves on their Facebook page as “patriotic Australians” (…) who “stand together to stop halal tax, sharia law and islamisation”, said they were expecting a vocal turn-out of supporters from all walks of life, colour and ethnicity to stand against extremism. Early start at the Reclaim Australia and Anti-Racism rallies in Perth @AAPNewswire#perthnewspic.twitter南京夜网/oM9Lmgu0Tm— Sarah Motherwell (@SarahMotherwell) July 19, 2015
The organisation’s Facebook page said that the peaceful rally was part of a national Reclaim Australia campaign.
It intended to highlight to “the people of Australia that we have had enough of minorities not fitting in and trying to change our Australian cultural identity”.
“This is not a supremacist rally, it will simply be true blue, patriotic Aussies standing together to stop minorities changing our country to suit their needs.” the Facebook page announced.
Other similar rallies in Melbourne and Sydney have been marked with confrontation and violence and a strong police reaction including mounted police, the use of capsicum sprays and arrests.
Rallies and counter-rallies were also held on Sunday in Sydney, Hobart, Canberra, and Brisbane, with federal Coalition MP George Christensen addressing a Reclaim Australia rally in Mackay, Queensland.
Reclaim Australia organisers have been contacted for comment.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.