Reclaim Australia arrest over weapons days before rally

Police found weapons in the home of a vocal anti-Islamist who claims to be a member of the Reclaim Australia Party, leading to his arrest days before a major rally.

Detectives from the arson and explosives squad seized Tasers and other weapons from the Braybrook home of 31-year-old Phillip Galea.

The raid came ahead of a major rally planned for this Sunday, organised in opposition to the Melton mosque.

Mr Galea said he had "Nothing to say" when asked why police were raiding his home.

When questioned if he planned on attending Sunday's rally, the anti-refugee advocate said: "Every Australian should attend Sunday's anti-mosque rally, it's their responsibility as Australians … Look what's happening in France."

Mr Galea said the weapons for "self-defence" at the rally. Detectives were searching the home on Thursday as part of an ongoing and "active" investigation".

One of the anti-Islam graphics Mr Galea shared on Facebook. Source: Facebook
One of the anti-Islam graphics Mr Galea shared on Facebook. Source: Facebook

Mr Galea's Facebook page is full of anti-Islam with anti-left pictures and articles and many links to Reclaim Australia. He recently uploaded a video of him burning posters supporting refugees.

"(I) went to the trade hall and collected the rest of there bendigo crap on the sly and had a bbq (sic)" he wrote.

Following recent clashes over the mosque being built in Bendigo, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said officers were preparing for violence this Sunday.

"I think the demonstration in the city and the two rallies in Bendigo show us, both police and the community, that the extreme views on each side are prepared to use violence to get their word heard the most," he said.

Reclaim Australia spokesman John Bolton said earlier that up to 1000 people who were concerned about "the development of Islamic enclaves" in Australia would be at the rally.

He said it would be a peaceful event.

Mr Bolton said the rally site was near an Islamic school and a site for a new mosque.

He is concerned the area could become "like they have Islamic ghettos in Paris".

The rally was moved from the CBD after police raised concerns about staging it on the steps of Victoria's parliament.

Mr Bolton also said it was nonsense to argue that anti-Islam events do the recruiting work of Islamic State by dividing the community.

"The work of ISIS is clearly to kill people and that was going on for a long time before Reclaim," he said.

"How people can say people like me - who are identifying the issue - are creating the issue, I think is academic nonsense."

News break – November 19