Weapon-wielding protesters clash outside Yiannopoulos talk in Melbourne

Weapon-wielding protesters clash outside Yiannopoulos talk in Melbourne, by Simone Fox Koob.

Police have come under attack, pelted with rocks, glass bottles and sticks, as left and right-wing groups clashed violently outside a speaking engagement hosted by controversial right-wing figure Milo Yiannopolous in Melbourne. …

The Melbourne leg of Yiannolopous‘s show, The Troll Academy, attracted around 500 protesters, with police deploying around 100 officers, including about 40 members of the Riot Squad, in anticipation. At one stage police were pelted with rocks. …

There was a heavy police presence at the Melbourne Pavilion late into the night, with objects still being thrown at officers by what appeared to be groups of young people who lived nearby, even after the organised anti-fascist [??] protestors left the area just after 10pm. …

The size of the gathering swelled significantly throughout the evening as residents, believed to be from the nearby public housing blocks, emerged. At one stage a man with a loudspeaker and wearing a jumper with the logo “Soldiers of Odin” shouted abuse at the group, which appeared to include several Muslim women. …

The crowd, which saw traffic blocked off for several hours, included opponents of the unapologetically contrarian commentator, who has sparked outrage for describing feminism as a cancer and likening Islam to Aids. Groups included the left-wing Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, who held placards stating ‘F*** off Nazi scum’ and chanted “Hey Milo go to hell”, as well as right-wing groups Patriot Blue, Reclaim Australia, The Freedom Party and Soldiers of Odin.

hat-tip Stephen Neil