Andrew Bolt attacked – Thuggery in Carlton in daylight

Andrew Bolt attacked – Thuggery in Carlton in daylight, by Tony Thomas, who was on hand to witness the assault in Lygon Street, Melbourne.

Andrew Bolt was ambushed and assaulted by a trio of thugs at 11.55am today as he entered Il Gambero Restaurant in Lygon St, Carlton to speak at the lunch launch of Quadrant contributor Steve Kates’ new book.

Bolt was unhurt. Two of the thugs wore ‘hoodies’ to conceal their faces, according to witnesses, and one was filming the ambush. The thugs came off worse. Bolt, who is tall and strongly built, told his audience shortly after about his self-defence: …

“They’d been waiting half an hour for me. When I arrived they shouted something and one came at me from behind over my shoulder. I punched one in the head and he fell over. I turned to face the other and the first scrambled up and I kicked him between the legs. Two came up to me to fight – it’s a bit blurred in my mind – one tried to hold me tightly and then they all ran off.” …

He said, “They hope, by punishing someone symbolic, they will silence and intimidate the rest of us. It didn’t work on Donald Trump and it shouldn’t work on anyone here. It’s important to keep going.” …

“It was frightening,” says Phoebe M., who was about to enter the restaurant with her husband at the same time. “I saw people attacking this man and there were outdoor chairs and tables flying about and I thought it might be a terror attack.” …

Phoebe said, “I shouted to them, ‘Get out of here, leave him alone’. After, I asked the staff if Bolt was all right and they said he had gone to the washroom to clean himself up.” …

Bolt was calm when he came to the stage on the upper floor to introduce economist Steve Kates and Kates’ book of blog entries he made while covering the US election, “Donald Trump: The Art of the Impossible”.

Bolt began, …. “This is, unfortunately, Melbourne today. The same sort of people have attacked at a number of other (conservative) meetings.

“We had to cancel my own Melbourne book launch because of such threats. Groups had put up inciting posters all around the city. The police told us they could only offer to deploy one to three police to defend us because they were committed to a massive police operation to provide security at the annual South Sudan beauty pageant, which had involved extreme violence three times.

“That is where Victorians are today.

“Last night there was another attack by a refugee only a couple of weeks after the ASIO director said there was no connection between refugees and such events. There’s been four attacks in a row involving Muslim refugees. If you point this out you yourself face violence in the streets from people who are against the freedoms we have, especially free speech. Without that freedom you can’t defend any other freedom.

“Laws are also being used to make it almost impossible to express dissent on some issues without being sued or risking physical attack. That’s poor and very sad.”