UPDATE: Four men arrested during rally after police find two teenagers with knuckle dusters.
Torrential rain didn’t stop both anti-migrant protesters and their ‘anti-fascist’ counterparts from showing up in large numbers at Blacktown Station today.
Almost 40 people from Antifa Sydney, an anti-fascist group, showed up to counter protest the Party For Freedom’s call to deport “violent African and Muslim gangs”.
They arrived at 11.30am outside the 7-Eleven on Main Street, carrying banners and flags which read “stand with Muslims against racism”.
“We’re celebrating the fact they have been routinely beaten again and again,” an Antifa man said.
“Last week we celebrated a victory on the streets of Melbourne in Coburg, we stopped them from their own plan.
“We’re trying to link arms with the migrant communities and this is a positive thing that we’ve done over the last year or so.”
At 12.15pm, about 15 anti-migrant protesters arrived with signs saying “White Lives Matter”.
The group was led by independent senate candidate Nick Folkes from the Party for Freedom.
“The behaviour of refugees is totally unacceptable, they’re clogging Centrelink and the prisons,” Mr Folkes said,
“Why [is] the government bringing people here from war zones when they’ve proven their anti-social behaviour.
“I’d like to see third world immigration stopped, not 200,000 a year.”
Riot police from the Operations Support Group (OSG) and the Public Order and Riot Squad were on hand to support Blacktown Police.
Acting Inspector Nagy, said the extra resources were a result of the violence which occurred at a similar protest in Coburg, Victoria last month.
There were as many police as there were protesters on each side, with both groups separated from each other by 100 metres, two fences and six police officers mounted on horses.
From their protest areas, both groups taunted each other via megaphones with one side calling the other Nazis and the other communists.
The taunting and cursing turned to songs including ‘Solidarity Forever’ to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, likely sung in response to the Party of Freedom’s use of the Confederate flag.
The Party for Freedom sang Waltzing Matilda, with lyrics reflecting their views, in response.
Many protesters from both sides were not locals of the Blacktown area.
At a Vietnamese bakery where the protesters were in front of, was a young man who said he found the shouting uninteresting.
“They’re driving away our customers” he said.