Protest at Christopher Pyne Sydney speech turns violent as students pepper sprayed

Students trying to enter the Sydney Masonic Centre where Christopher Pyne is speaking say they were pepper sprayed. Photo: Rebecca Barrett via Twitter
Nanjing Night Net

Students trying to enter the Sydney Masonic Centre where Christopher Pyne is speaking say they were pepper sprayed. Photo: Rebecca Barrett via Twitter

Students trying to enter the Sydney Masonic Centre where Christopher Pyne is speaking say they were pepper sprayed. Photo: Rebecca Barrett via Twitter

Students trying to enter the Sydney Masonic Centre where Christopher Pyne is speaking say they were pepper sprayed. Photo: Rebecca Barrett via Twitter

University student Anna Amelia (centre) who was pepper sprayed by police when protesters stormed the Sydney Masonic Centre, where Education Minister Christopher Pyne was giving a speech. Photo: Kate Geraghty

University student Bridget Holly (left) is comforted by a man after being pepper sprayed by police. Photo: Kate Geraghty

University students storm the Sydney Masonic Centre on Goulburn Street, where Education Minister Christopher Pyne was giving a speech. Photo: Kate Geraghty

A protest by university students opposing the federal government’s education reforms has turned violent.

Police used pepper spray to deter about 40 students who were trying to enter a lecture by Education Minister Christopher Pyne in Sydney’s CBD on Friday morning.

The air of the centre’s foyer was thick with pepper spray, as some of the students sat crying in the gutter, while being comforted by fellow demonstrators.

The protest, at the first annual Hedley lecture at an education conference at the Sydney Masonic Centre in Goulburn Street, suddenly erupted and police acted to keep the students from storming the building.

The protest had up to then been peaceful.

Chants rang out such as, “Chris Pyne f— you, we deserve a future too.”

All of a sudden the situation erupted as the students tried to force their way inside the building.

“Every time I open my eyes it stings a bit,” said Eliza Buckley, a student at the protest.

“Christopher Pyne is a despicable human being for creating that class divide where only the wealthy can afford a university education,” she said.

“It demonstrates the lengths the NSW Police will go to to defend the Education Minister Christopher Pyne from the people he rules over,” said Ridah Hassan, education officer of the nation union of students, her face covered in a milk like substance to ease the burning of the police spray.

“It was a peaceful protest to protest at the government’s  deregulation agenda and we were pepper sprayed when making that point,”, she said.

“We are determined to keep protesting,” she said, as the protesters packed up saying, “I think we’ve had enough for one day.” Students trying to enter the Sydney Masonic centre where Christopher Pyne is speaking say they were pepper sprayed pic.twitter南京夜网/Me0ey0C6cc — Rebecca Barrett (@becjbarr) February 13, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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