Man charged over encouraging Sydney ‘mob’ church brawl says he’s ‘sorry’ – ABC News

Man charged over encouraging Sydney 'mob' church brawl says he's 'sorry' - ABC News

One of the men charged with encouraging an attack on members of an LGBT group outside a Sydney church this week has apologised, saying a video in which he urged people to “drag protesters by their head” was not supposed to be taken literally.

NSW Police alleged about 15 peaceful protesters were rushed by a “mob” of about 250 people who had attended a church event where NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham was giving a speech on Tuesday evening.

LGBTQI+ group Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) said they were there to protest Mr Latham’s “anti-trans” speech.

Three men have now been charged after what Superintendent Sheridan Waldau yesterday alleged was a “very violent confrontation” outside St Michael’s Church in Belfield.

She said police expect more charges to be laid as investigators watch more footage of the incident.

People cower between cars with placards held above their heads
Officers tried to protect people from the violence. (Supplied)

One of the men who was charged, Christian Sukkar, spoke with the ABC, saying a video he filmed ahead of the meeting was not meant to encourage violence.

Mr Sukkar has been charged with encouraging the commission of crimes, and told the ABC he understands the charge is in regards to his video.

On Wednesday, CARR reposted the video, accusing Mr Sukkar of being “one of the far right thugs who punched and attacked LGBTI+ activists at Belfield”.

Mr Latham denounced the violence yesterday.

Mr Sukkar said he didn’t touch or hit anyone.

In the video, Mr Sukkar said “you go there tomorrow and you f***ing shake them up, and you drag them by the f***ing head, and you remove them from St Michael’s Belfied, time to rise, time to let them know where we stand”.

The ABC has chosen not to show the video.

The day after the incident, however, Mr Sukkar was less confrontational with his words.

“I’m very apologetic if my message turned very harmful … if they took my comments as an incitement of hate,” he told the ABC.

“This is not what I am about.”

Mr Sukkar did not indicate which way he would plead.

He said he never posted the video on social media, and sent it only to a group message “between a couple of boys”.

“Somebody has taken it out and blown it out of proportion,” Mr Sukkar said.

“I was just singing the song, when you watch these rappers … they don’t literally mean go shoot up, go knock people out, it’s just a song.”

Mr Sukkar said he made another video before the church event to encourage people to keep things peaceful and not resort to violence.

Mr Sukkar has previously posted on social media about taking part in protests, and was in attendance at Cardinal George Pell’s funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral in the Sydney CBD when a group of protesters clashed with mourners.

In a video taken by the ABC, Mr Sukkar is seen yelling at police officers to move the protest along.

“Are you in the right mind, move them along, move them back, is it hard for you just to move them back, there’s a f***ing mass going on,” he said.

Mr Sukkar has reposted several photos from news outlets and social media pages of him at the funeral.


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