One Nation NSW leader responds to wild protests in Sydney’s south-west – Sky News Australia

One Nation NSW leader responds to wild protests in Sydney’s south-west - Sky News Australia

New South Wales Police were called to disperse the chaotic scenes outside the Church of St Michael at Belfield where the One Nation NSW leader was a keynote speaker at an event. 

The clash between hundreds of people and more than a dozen LGBTQI+ protesters unfolded on the street about 5pm.

On Wednesday morning, Mr Latham addressed the media from Cessnock, in the Hunter Region, about the violent behaviour during the clash between groups.

“The whole thing was a bad reflection of our democracy, it’s better for people to sort their differences out at the ballot boxes,” he said.

“This whole tradition now where we’ve got a protest and a counter protest, we’ll soon have the counter-counter protest. It’s not the way to run things particularly when it spills over into violence that we saw on that Margaret Street, Belfield, last night.”

Mr Latham discussed various issues, including religious freedoms and parental rights, with members of the community at the event inside the church hall.

“We shouldn’t be cancelled because some protesters turned up trying to close us all down,” Mr Latham told reporters. 

“One Nation does not surrender to cancel culture, One Nation does not surrender to censorship, One Nation does not surrender to protesters who are trying to stop people getting into their place of worship and last night, I did not surrender.”

Mr Latham added candidates had rights to exercise free speech, claiming a police officer told him that he should not speak at the event given scenes which were unfolding.

“It should be the role of the New South Wales Police to defend the rights of candidates running at a democratic election to exercise their free speech, and I did,” he said. 

Additional police resources like the Public Order and Riot Squad Riot Squad and Operational Support Group were called in to help separate the groups.

During the clash, police allege a number of glass bottles and other projectiles were thrown at officers.

Police said a male constable was also injured when he was allegedly struck in the hand. 

The One Nation NSW leader said he did not personally see the original band of protesters or the counter-protest launched on the street.

However, he condemned the behaviour of blockading roads or denying entry people entry to their place of worship. 

“It’s fake news to say that the counter-protests were One Nation supporters. I didn’t talk to anyone of them in advance. I don’t exactly know who they are, they weren’t wearing any One Nation material or organised by us in any shape or form,” Mr Latham added. 

“They were I assume church-goers offended by the way in which they were denied access, regular access, to their place of worship.

“They took things into their own hands, that’s the wrong approach and as I said at the meeting last night, let the police do their job, don’t take it into your own hands.”

NSW Police arrested a 34-year-old man and 41-year-old man following the events on Tuesday afternoon.


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