Protesters clash in Melbourne over transgender rights
Three people have been arrested and a group of men performed Nazi salutes on the steps of the Victorian parliament as clashes broke out between protesters in Melbourne.
About 30 people from the National Socialist Movement marched along Spring Street on Saturday afternoon, repeatedly performing the salute at the anti-transgender rights rally.
They also held signs calling transgender people offensive names, while British anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull spoke to the crowd.
The anti-trans group clashed with hundreds of others who were rallying in favour of transgender rights.
The pro-trans protesters held signs that included messages such as "trans lives over terf hate" and "women aren't defined by their bodies".
Spring Street and the surrounding area remained blocked to traffic for several hours as police, including mounted officers, worked to keep the groups separated.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed three people were arrested.
A 22-year-old Point Cook man was arrested for allegedly putting a female officer in a headlock and taking her to the ground, while a 23-year-old Thornbury woman was arrested for allegedly slapping a police officer on the neck.
Both are expected to be charged with numerous offences including assault police.
The two officers were uninjured.
A 22-year-old from Preston was also arrested for unlawful assault.
"Police will review CCTV, body-worn camera and social media footage to determine whether any further offences occurred," the police spokeswoman told AAP.
The Victorian Opposition condemned the actions of some protesters, saying there was no space in society for neo-Nazism.
"The behaviours today by neo-Nazis are a deliberate attempt to incite hatred and violence and are nothing short of sickening," a joint statement from Liberal MPs David Southwick and Brad Battin said.
"These shameful individuals and the hateful ideology they push have no place in our state and must never be tolerated.
"Victoria is better than this."