Sydney police clash with Islam film protesters
SYDNEY -- Riot police clashed with about 200 protesters at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney on Saturday as demonstrations against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States spread to Australia.
Ten Network television news showed a policeman knocked unconscious as the mostly male crowd hurled bottles and other missiles. Many of the protesters were wearing Muslim dress.
Police used pepper spray against the protesters, who chanted “Obama, Obama, we love Osama” and waved placards saying “Behead all those who insult the Prophet.”
A total of six police officers were injured, including two who were taken to a hospital. Two protesters were treated for police dog bites and 17 others for the effects of pepper spray, police said in a statement. There were no details of their condition.
Eight people were arrested on charges including assaulting police and resisting arrest.
Police said they were unsure who organized the protest.
“There was little or no organization or control of what they were doing, and their actions were disgraceful,” police Superintendent Mark Walton said in a statement.
Prime Minister Julian Gillard said the protest was unacceptable.
“Violent protest is never acceptable — not today, not ever,” she said in a statement.
U.S. diplomatic posts around the world have been targeted in recent days by protests against the film “Innocence of Muslims,” which ridicules the Prophet Muhammad.