Australian police have arrested right-wing counter-protestors over the violence that erupted during MILO’s visit to Melbourne in December.
In December, MILO’s speech at the Melbourne Pavilion became a flashpoint for violence after left-wing protesters organized by a local Antifa group called Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF) provoked attacks against a smaller group of counter-protestors who showed up outside the venue.
The main group of leftists saw upwards of 400 protesters, some of whom brandished weapons and hurled objects at right-wing demonstrators and police. CARF admitted to instigating the violence.
Hundreds of police officers, dozens in riot gear, were forced to break up the two groups. Two protesters were arrested—one from each side.
On December 28, two men—a 33-year-old from Wonthaggi and a 28-year-old from Sunbury—were arrested and charged with affray and assault offenses, the Daily Mail reported.
And on Tuesday, reports surfaced in the Australian press that police raided the homes of two other men—a 33-year-old from Surrey Hills, and a 48-year-old Eltham man—charging them with the same offenses.
A fifth man was also arrested, according to Blair Cottrell, who posted word on Twitter that all five individuals were right-wing demonstrators. According to Cottrell, the men had their homes raided after New Year’s Eve by “heavily armed, un-uniformed policemen.”
“Their children were gun pointed with rifles,” he wrote. “Police charged them with affray. This is all in relation to their attendance to the Milo event.”
If convicted, all five men could potentially be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison. They are expected to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on June 8.
Victoria Police states that they expect to make more arrests as investigations continue.
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