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Wild scenes erupt at Labor state conference

Written by on May 18, 2024

People attending the Victoria ALP Conference were met with scenes of violence as they tried to make their way into the Moonee Valley Racecourse.

Protesters at a Pro-Palestine rally could be seen shoving and pushing people as they make their way through the crowd into the conference.

Some included MPs and Labor delegates, who were met with abuse upon arriving.

Others had to be escorted into the venue by police.

A video posted to X (formerly Twitter) shows hundreds of protesters storm a building where the conference is taking place with people inside the building chanting, “Free, free, Palestine,” and banging on walls.

It is understood security had to put the building into lockdown, moving delegates to a secure area after the protesters stormed the building.

Outside the conference protesters try to disrupt the conference by chanting pro-Palestine messages through megaphones.

A Victoria Police confirmed that no arrests had been made but they would also be at the racecourse tomorrow when the conference continues for a second day.

“A group of protesters entered the gates to a venue on Feehan Ave this morning and were moved on without incident,” the spokesperson said.

“Our priority is the safety of the community and officers will ensure there are no breaches of the peace.”

Protesters included union and community groups which have called on the Victorian Government to end its ties with Israel.

In a statement released on social media, Trade Unionists for Palestine said they were protesting against the Albanese’s Government’s $917m defence contract with Israel and wanted the state government to end a partnership with an Israeli arms manufacturer.

“Trade Unionists for Palestine stand with dissenters in the ALP such as Senator Fatima Payman who recently broke ranks with party line and called Israel’s attack on Gaza what it is, a genocide,” the statement said.

“Despite Payman’s statement and growing disquiet in Labor rank and file, ALP governments stand shamefully on the wrong side of history in failing to condemn Israel’s actions including war crimes committed on the Palestinian people.”

Senator Lidia Thorpe spoke at the rally while the conference was taking place inside a building at the racecourse.

More to come.

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