The far right political pundit Milo Yiannopoulos has been blamed for inviting violent demonstrations outside of his Melbourne show during his current Australian tour. Anti-fascist groups quickly gathered around the Flemington venue shouting expletives at attendees, labelling them as Nazis among other things.
There was a considerable police presence at the Melbourne event that was there to separate protesters and attendees of Milo’s appearance.
Hundreds of members of Campaign Against Racism and Fascism clashed with the right-aligned True Blue Crew outside the event. One police officer sustained injuries after being hit by a rock.
Rocks were thrown at a police van and pepper spray was used by police after a violent fight broke out between protestors.
In a radio interview following the protests Milo denied that any right wing groups took part in the violence and condemned leftist demonstrators. Milo went on to say that what occurred was an indication Australia had a problem with allowing free speech.
Milo told the press that this was not the first bad reaction to his presence he had when visiting Australia pointing out that many establishments had cancelled his speaking engagements.
Milo went on to say the demonstrations by the left were an example of intimidation tactics that not only harmed his supporters but impartial police and journalists.
Yiannopoulos used his radio interview to establish that he thought Australian politics and media were a mess but that ordinary Australians were beginning to rebel against them.
Milo is best known as a right wing homosexual who has become an opinion leader for what is known as the“alt right”. His critics refer to him as an apologist for paedophilia after he argued that relationships between older men and young boys could be justified as a coming of age exercise.
This opinion from Yiannopoulos saw him sacked from his editor position at the Breitbart news website and he later went on to deny making any apology for paedophilia.
He is also seen as an anti-Muslim speaker as he has suggested that Islamic culture should be stopped from being facilitated in Western countries. Milo has generated a significant online following claiming that Australia was his largest audience outside of the United States.
Milo’s Australian tour is marketed as the “Troll Academy” and is designed to thrive on generating controversy, especially in internet circles.
Milo actively encourages fierce opposition to him, stating he was disappointed a petition against him entering Australia only received 600 signatures.
Critics argue that Milo’s tour has little to offer Australian political discussion but note that the turnout to his events has been much larger than anticipated.