Far-right activists clash with youths of African appearance at St Kilda Beach
Far-right activists have clashed with a group of young men of African appearance at a Melbourne beach after filming them playing soccer, resulting in the arrest of a 25-year-old man for allegedly assaulting an officer.
- Police used capsicum spray to arrest a man who allegedly assaulted police during the incident
- The activist behind the video holds a conviction for inciting serious contempt of Muslims
- The activists refused to stop filming despite repeated requests by police officers
A video of the incident posted on social media by far-right activist Neil Erikson shows footage of young men of African appearance playing soccer on the St Kilda foreshore around 5:30pm on Friday.
“Can you stop that?” one of the group of around 15 people being filmed asks the activists three times, before another member of the group attempts to push the camera down.
“I’m allowed to film, mate, don’t touch me … it’s a public area mate, you can film where you want,” one of the activists can be heard replying.
“What are you recording us for?” one of the young men asks.
The young men were kicking around a soccer ball at St Kilda beach when they were approached by a camera. (Supplied)
Some members of the group of young men can also be seen attempting to defuse tensions.
Police officers then moved in to separate the two groups, and can be heard repeatedly asking the activist group why they are filming and requesting that they stop the recording and move on from the beach.
The activists refuse to stop filming, and one can be heard saying “I’m just filming, it’s a public area, I’m legally allowed to film”.
Police officers asked the activists why they were filming the men playing soccer. (Supplied: Neil Erikson)
Shortly afterwards the video shows a scuffle between one of the men and officers, and the activists can be heard saying “yes, yes, yes” and running towards the altercation with the camera.
Capsicum spray is used and the man vomits as he is held on the ground and arrested.
Activist holds conviction for inciting ‘serious contempt’
Last year, Mr Erikson was convicted of inciting serious contempt against Muslims, over a mock beheading he staged in the regional Victorian town of Bendigo in 2015.
It is also not the first time Mr Erikson has confronted people from racial minority groups in Australia with a camera.
Last year, he called former Labor senator Sam Dastyari — who was born in Iran — a “terrorist” and a “monkey” when he filmed him without his consent in a Melbourne pub.
The incident at the St Kilda foreshore comes a day after several beachgoers at nearby Chelsea Beach were robbed and a man smashed in the head with a bottle by a group of youth of African appearance.