With circus performers, silent discos and several fireworks displays, Melbourne’s Moomba festival is supposed to be a fun-filled family event.
But recently it has been spoiled by terrifying AFRICAN gang violence which erupted again on Saturday night as police used batons and pepper spray to break up running battles.
The festival has been plagued by ethnic violence since 2016.
That year, police arrested 24 people after 150 youths stole phones, taunted police and terrorised the public.
In 2017, thugs from the African-gang Apex ran riot through the city centre.
Police arrested more than 50 people and confiscated weapons including knives, scissors, a taser and a knuckle duster after conducting more than 800 searches.
Last year was quieter although footage showed girls trading punches while frightened visitors ducked for cover as another video captured dozens of teenagers charging onto a tram with police in hot pursuit.
And the gang violence flared up again this year as groups of African and Pacific Islander teenagers brazenly brawled in the streets.
On Saturday night witnesses watched in horror as hundreds of riot squad officers were forced to use capsicum spray and batons to break up several brawls.
One man likened the scenes to ‘something out of Braveheart’, claiming officers could do little but watch on as the clashing groups fought outside Flinders Street Station.
Dramatic footage posted online from Saturday night showed more than a dozen teenagers sprinting down a set of escalators at Flinders Street station.
Police arrested five people following three separate incidents, which they believe were all linked.
The violence this year has re-sparked the debate on immigration with many taking to social media blaming Australia’s immigration policy for “the escalating violent African crimewave”.
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