You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Police clash with demonstrators at Liberal Party event at Sydney University

ABC News logo ABC News 22/05/2014

Police have clashed with demonstrators who tried to storm a Liberal Party function at Sydney University being attended by former prime minister John Howard.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne is at the university's St John's College to adjudicate a student debate at the Liberal Club.

About an 45 minutes before Mr Pyne arrived up to 30 protesters tried to enter the building, but could not get in.

Police arrived at the scene shortly afterwards at which point there was a confrontation, described by ABC reporter Ben Worsley as "quite forceful" as a number of students were pushed to the ground.

Footage from the scene appears to show a police officer striking a student.

"Within two or three minutes a heavy police presence arrived, probably a couple of dozen police approached the protesters," Worsley said.

"A number of the protesters were pushed to the ground quite forcefully but the group has refused to leave."

The debate is due to last a couple of hours, but police and protesters show no signs of going anywhere.

The protest appears to have been attended by members of the Socialist Alternative and the National Union of Students, who coordinated nationwide protests yesterday against the Coalition's plans to deregulate tertiary education.

The demonstrations yesterday forced Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Mr Pyne to cancel a visit to Deakin University in Geelong after security advice from the Australian Federal Police.

More From ABC News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon