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Victoria Police taking part in “pride” march with their kids are pelted with paint bombs and abused by protesters in pig masks

Protesters wearing masks have hurled paint bombs and abuse at Victoria Police taking part in a “pride” march in Melbourne.

About 100 officers, some accompanied by their children, were confronted by up to 50 protesters – who were mostly non-White men according to witnesses – at the Midsumma festival in St Kilda just before 2pm on Sunday.

Videos of the scene shows protesters throwing paint bombs and chanting “cops kill queers” while waving a variety of LGBT flags and the Palestinian flag. One was wearing a pig mask with a police hat and a rainbow lanyard.

Some of the children of police members caught up in the melee were as young as four.

Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, who participated in the march himself, called the protesters an “ugly rabble”.

“We were subjected as we went along to threats, calling us killers. There was paint thrown at police, there were paint bombs thrown at police – which landed on police officers,” he said.

“You don’t make those when you’re standing in the street at the time. You come premeditated when you do that.”

But one protester told the ABC that police threw punches, pushed demonstrators and tore banners, and revealed the scuffle was “started by mostly trans women of colour, who are at the frontline who have been fighting for their rights over and over again”.

“It was quite a surprising escalation. I mean, we just, we were not intending… there was nothing violent that was planned at all,” he said.

“Our intention was literally just to walk in front of them, so that it would be raised awareness that we rejected police in Midsumma.”

Police arrested a 34-year-old man over an alleged assault near the police contingent.

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