Anti-Islam protests descend into violence in Melbourne

Police have used pepper spray on a swarm of angry protesters as rival anti-racism and anti-Islam groups wield Australian flag poles and plastic crates in ugly scenes that erupted in Melbourne earlier todauy.

Video shows the 300 protesters in the multicultural suburb of Coburg screaming and chanting as they rallied against both Islam and racism at Bridges Reserve.

300 protesters gathered in Coburg and rallied against both Islam and racism. Photo: 7 News Melbourne

Police hold anti-immigration and anti-racism protesters apart as the two groups clash in Coburg. Photo: AAP/Julian Smith


Police separated anti-immigration supporters from a group of anti-racism demonstrators attacking each other with flagpoles on Bell Street.

Some of those draped in the Australian flag were part of the anti-Islamic group UPF and the True Blue Crew.

Others are marching as part of the No Racism in Moreland rally.

Hundreds of officers formed a line between the two groups as protestors continued to yell offensive slurs and throw plastic crates.

A man is seen after being sprayed with capsicum spray as protesters clash. Photo: AAP/Julian Smith

Police detain a man as anti-immigration and anti-racism protesters clash in Coburg in Melbourne. Photo: AAP

Police deploy capsicum spray as anti-immigration and anti-racism protesters clash in Melbourne. 2016. Photo: AAP

Anti-racism activists threw oranges at the rival group and chanted out "Nazi scum" while right wing demonstrators screamed "the left is going down".

UPF's Blair Cottrell said rival groups had been smashed and had earlier said they would use "force and terror" against their rivals.

Two people have been arrested so far.

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