A clash between Reclaim Australia and No Room for Racism on Sunday at a rally in Melton forced police intervention and led to the arrest of six people. The rally organised by Reclaim Australia saw around 500 people gather at the Melton Civic Centre with flags and sign boards that read, “integrate or immigrate.”

The police was forced to use pepper spray to disperse the crowd and stop the rival groups from showering punches on each other. The rally had been held to protest against the building of a mosque. Earlier this year, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) had repealed the decision of the local council to disallow the Melbourne Islamic Centre to construct a mosque in Melton.

"I want my kids to have the same upbringing as I had, I want our kids to be able to sing the national anthem, have Christmas carols at their schools and not have to put up with the hijab," a Reclaim Australia protester told ABC. "Why do they need to build their own mosque and their own schools when they can send their kids to our schools?

He added, "They need to assimilate and become a part of us."

The rally is a part of the national day for anti-Islam protests that are being held across the country. The rival group, No Room for Racism, brought out a counter rally chanting slogans like, “Muslims are welcome, racists aren’t.”

Last month, Bendigo stood witness to a similar rally, also held in protests against a decision by the town’s local council to build a mosque.

The protests at Melton is accompanied by a strong police presence to prevent the two groups from entering into a severe clash with each other. Five men have been arrested for weapons offences and riotous behaviour while one has been arrested for punching a police horse.

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