Four arrested outside ABC as protesters demonstrate against Pauline Hanson’s appearance on QandA
Andrew Bell and Naaman Zhou report.
At least four individuals have been arrested outside the ABC’s Ultimo studio, as activists protesting One Nation senator Pauline Hanson met with an anti-immigration counter-protest.
The otherwise peaceful demonstrations culminated in arrests just past 9pm as four anti-Hanson protesters ran past police towards the pro-Hanson contingent, ostensibly from a side street.
4 people have been arrested outside #qanda as anti-racist protesters clash with @PaulineHansonOz supporters pic.twitter.com/Eb1TSrpVPR
— Naaman Zhou (@naamanzhou) July 18, 2016
Up until that point, the warring groups had been cleanly sectioned off by approximately seventy metres of sidewalk outside the studio. There were no indications that the groups intended to converge for much of the evening, and indeed the pro-Hanson group began to leave just before 9PM.
From 7:30PM a group of approximately 35 anti-Muslim, pro-Hanson protesters gathered outside the studio on Harris Street, bearing signs exclaiming “White Lives Matter”.
A larger group of anti-racism protesters and student activists from the University of Sydney formed shortly after, appearing approximately seven times greater than the pro-Hanson contingent at its largest.
Chants of "Always was, always will be Aboriginal land" #qanda #qandaprotest pic.twitter.com/JL7FmTxnaw
— Andrew Bell (@Bell_Andrew1) July 18, 2016
Honi understands that some protesters may have affiliation with anti-fascist protest groups.
Police and ambulance officers had been present since 6.30, with ABC staff telling Honi they had closed the ABC foyer to the public for tonight.
NSW Police on the scene did not comment in relation to likely charges.