Milo’s Melbourne melee: left and right protesters face court

Left and right wing activists arrested at controversial political personality Milo Yiannopolous’ speaking event in Melbourne last December faced court this week.

Three anti-fascist protesters linked to Melbourne group Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF) fronted the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on June 6. Their appearance, on charges of assault, affray and engaging in riotous behaviour, stemmed from their involvement at the protest against famed provocateur Milo Yiannopolous. Outside court, a small group of supporters rallied in solidarity.

“They were arrested when they were defending our anti-fascist protest against neo-nazis who are trying to invade our space and be violent,” said CARF spokeswoman Debbie Brennan, “so it’s a pretty serious matter when you have, then, police arresting and charging people with very serious offences for organising against neo-nazis and for defending ourselves against them.”

The case against the three anti-fascist protesters was adjourned until July 5.

This morning, five members of far right political groups Reclaim Australia and True Blue Crew filed past a large media contingent to for their day in front of the magistrate.

Also facing charges of assault, affray and engaging in riotous behaviour, the five men – including prominent far-right activist Neil Erikson – drew a small crowd of right-wing supporters, including United Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell.

Erikson, who had been a particular target of the anti-fascist speeches the previous day, and who had also earlier released a promotional video addressing his charges, appeared jovial throughout the proceedings, smiling and laughing with supporters inside the courtroom.

Pending the release of further CCTV evidence to defence counsel, the case against the five men was also adjourned to July 6.

Header Image by Joshua McDonald, Hatch@Macleay. Additional Images by James Hearnes.