“My face is on fire”: students pepper-sprayed at violent protest
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“My face is on fire”: students pepper-sprayed at violent protest

“My face is on fire”: students pepper-sprayed at violent protest

A mob of student protestors have copped a face full of pepper spray while seeking to violently storm an address by Education Minister Christopher Pyne this morning.

Mr Pyne was delivering the inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture at the Sydney Masonic Centre in the Sydney Central Business District.

Screaming “Chris Pyne, f*ck you, we deserve a future too”, the students had been protesting fee deregulation when they barged through a line of police into the building lobby.

In a video of the incident, police can be heard repeatedly yelling “get back” as they try to stop the students, before resorting to pepper-spray to deter the advancing barrage.

“It was a peaceful protest to protest at the government’s deregulation agenda,” said protestor Ridah Hassan.

“It demonstrates the lengths the NSW Police will go to to defend the Education Minister Christopher Pyne from the people he rules over,” she continued, after declaring “my face is on fire”.

Video: the moment police pepper-sprayed the protestors.

This is not the first time that students opposed to fee deregulation have resorted to violence. Last year, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was assaulted at a ceremony to congratulate scholarship-recipients of the New Colombo Plan at Sydney University.

After that altercation with Bishop, Ms Hassan appeared on television to defend the protest. “She got what she deserved,” said Ms Hassan.

It preceded another incident last year when student protestors sought to forcefully storm the John Howard Debating Cup with Pyne and Attorney-General George Brandis at St John’s College. Repelled by police, the students broke windows and upturned tables on a rampage of vandalism.

With this track-record of excusing violent acts as merely “peaceful protests”, it is doubtful that student protestors will find much support today.

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