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Large Police presence planned for Melbourne’s St Kilda beach as far-right extremists rally
Hundreds of police will patrol St Kilda on Saturday searching for weapons among extremists planning to gather at the popular Melbourne beach.
Convicted criminals Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson want to gather a rally of far-right extremists at the beach on Saturday to “discuss” Melbourne’s youth crime problem.
The event, promoted on social media, has sparked the interest of anti-racism protesters and authorities.
In response, Victorian Polic Minister Lisa Neville, told reporters yesterday "let me be clear – there will be hundreds of police there, there will be specialist police, there will be the dog squad, the mounted squad, the transit teams, the public order response teams, they will be conducting weapons searches.
“Whether you are on the ultra-right or the ultra-left, this is a family beach and Victoria Police will be there in force to keep it safe.”
Minister Neville pleaded for those looking to cause trouble to “please rethink” and “don’t wreck a great weekend for Victorians at that beach”.
She added “protesting in Victoria is legal and we want that to be the case. What isn’t legal is public disorder, violence, inciting violence and that’s why Victoria Police will be there tomorrow.”
Last week Erikson confronted young men of African background who were playing football at the beach.
In 2017 Cottrell and Erikson were convicted and fined for inciting contempt and ridicule of Muslims by making a video in which they beheaded a dummy with a toy sword in a protest against the building of the Bendigo mosque. Cottrell is appealing against the conviction in the county court.
Last year Erikson was also found guilty of contempt after uploading a video that showed him calling the former Labor senator Sam Dastyari a “terrorist” at a Melbourne pub.
Police in Melbourne have had to deal with a number of safety and security related incidents on Melbourne beaches over recent weeks.
29th December 2017 - Wild Christmas party leads to alcohol ban on St Kilda Beach
28th September 2016 - Security on high alert to ensure fan safety on AFL Grand Final Day
13th January 2016 - Counting the cost of beach theft
22nd May 2015 - Jet ski ‘hoon’ jailed over swimmer’s death at Port Melbourne
27th February 2012 - Port Phillip Bay death prompts calls for more jet-ski restrictions
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