Medics’ Statement on July 18 anti-racist/fascist Demonstration
JULY 18, 2015 BY ADMIN·2 COMMENTS
Today, antifascist protesters converged upon Spring Street in Melbourne near the Parliament of Victoria. They went there to counter racist rallies being held by Reclaim Australia and the fascist United Patriots Front.
As usual Victoria Police was also in attendance, and in the days leading to the protest it had promised a large presence and random weapons checks in response to rumours of fascists bringing weapons and intending violence.
Victoria Police’s goal for the day was to facilitate Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front holding their rallies out the front of Parliament House. In order to achieve this mounted officers and members of the Public Order Response Team (PORT) complemented uniformed officers on the streets, and OC (Pepper) spray was deployed against counter-protesters.
Amongst those affected by the OC Spray was a casualty who began to experience respiratory distress, a not uncommon side-effect of OC spray and other such “less-than-lethal” chemical weapons. In the course of attending to this casualty and decontaminating others who had been affected, members of the Melbourne Street Medic Collective (including one pregnant woman) were attacked by police with OC Spray and kettled in a small space at the top of Little Bourke Street.