Demonstrators scuffled with police in the Australian city of Melbourne on Wednesday where Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders was giving a speech.
Dozens of officers formed a ring around the venue as protesters voiced their opposition to his appearance by chanting the words: “Racist scum!”
“These are all the demonstrators who are actually, just peacefully, trying to raise awareness of the fact that we oppose Islamophobia and all the things that Geert Wilders and the people that come to the Geert Wilders’ event, preach,” said one protester.
Previously denied an Australian visa, Wilders was given a standing ovation as he entered the ballroom. He called on his audience to defend Australia from what he called the “rising tide of Islam”.
“It’s not just a religion as so many people mistakenly think. It’s primarily a dangerous and totalitarian ideology,” said Wilders.
Supporters paid the equivalent of 50 euros to hear his one hour speech. He’s is due to speak in Sydney and Perth later this month but organisers say more than 30 venues have cancelled engagements.