In April this year, Melbourne’s Islamic community held a prayer session in Federation Square, located in the central business district. It was organised as part of “SalamFest” a holy festival organised annually to celebrate Islam.
Patriot activist Neil Erikson arrived at the location to non-violently protest the event, using a megaphone to exclaim “Mohamed was a false profit, Mohamed was a terrorist, vote Fraser Anning!” He was soon escorted away from the scene by police without issue.
The Unshackled reporters were there to cover the event and managed to capture footage of the protest and the following discussion with police, where Erikson was told he was not allowed to be present at the public space at this time. After refusing to comply, he was taken into custody by police while yelling “(in pain) my back!” and “I’m a vegan”. Patriot activist Ricky T was also present.
Earlier this month Erikson was contacted by Victoria Police who expressed their intentions to place charges on him under the Victorian “Summary Offences Act 1966” for Disturbing Religious Worship. This charge is punishable with up to three months jail. Prosecutions for these offences are usually set to begin three months after the offence is committed.
Erikson intends to fight the charge; he told The Unshackled that he will be self-representing this time. Many witnesses from the Islamic community have come forward to aid the prosecution.
A video was released to the YouTube channel “Senator Slayer” where Erikson provides a commentary on the day and a further explanation of the charges and the upcoming court battle.
What are your thoughts on these charges? Are the police doing the right thing or did Erikson have the right to protest on that day? Let us know in the comments.