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UPF denies Bendigo rally is a ‘protest’

The Victorian head of the United Patriots Front has denied tomorrow’s rally in Bendigo will be violent and has implored supporters not to protest outside mosques.

UPF’s Blair Cottrell told Tom Elliott on 3AW drive it’s a ‘public demonstration’ rather than a protest.

Anti-Islamic protests are planned across the country tomorrow.

‘I believe it’s a common misconception to regard what we do as protesting,’ he said.

‘I like to think we are giving the people an opportunity to attend a public demonstration.

‘Any group that is organising these anti-mosque events is only a satellite group, trying to capitalise on recent and very unfortunate events in Parramatta.’

Assistant Commissioner in the north-west region Stephen Leane said he was disappointed with a lack of acceptance of others of varying faiths.

‘We will support peaceful protests whether we agree with the sentiment or not,’ he said.

‘We won’t support violent protests nor will be support racial intolerance.’

RELATED: Premier Daniel Andrews slams ‘hate rally’

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