Australian Anti-War Rally Turns Violent

Written by Kevin Willmann

Friday, March 28, 2003

San Francisco isn't the only place where anti-war rallies turned violent.

Brad Clifton and Karla Lawrence report on one in Sydney, Australia, in the following from News.com.au.

WITH bottles and knives in their hands and hate in their hearts, a mob of violent troublemakers yesterday ambushed a student anti-war rally to lead a vicious rampage through Sydney streets. A group of young men, described by police as ''Middle Eastern males,'' created havoc by throwing chairs, rocks, bottles, eggs, and golf balls at police and media during several hours of chaos in the CBD.

Police also seized two knives from protesters, one of which fell on to the ground in the midst of a scuffle. The violent spectacle began at Town Hall and resulted in two police officers and a number of protesters being injured. The two officers were struck in the head, one by a bottle and another by a golf ball, as they fought to contain the crowd which surged through containment lines.

At least 45 mostly teenage participants were arrested - including a boy aged 10--after the rally erupted into violence about 12.30 pm.

Assistant Police Commissioner Dick Adams said it was clear a large proportion of protesters had come to the rally ''for the express purpose of fighting police.''

''We had a group of people who went to Town Hall (for) nothing other than to incite trouble,'' he said.

''A large group of Middle Eastern males started to engage and incite the police in St Andrew's Square (near Town Hall) and they started to pick up cafe furniture from the area and throw it at police.''

Clutching placards condemning Prime Minister John Howard and US President George W. Bush, a 2000-strong group of students--many wearing their school uniforms--gathered for the protest at midday.

To read the entire article, go to: http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,6194694%255E25777,00.html

The above originally appeared here:


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