Police and protesters clash outside Parliament House

A demonstration tied to a recent fire at Old Parliament House has clashed with police during another protest, this time outside Parliament House.

Police and protesters have clashed outside Parliament House in Canberra.

Police and protesters have clashed outside Parliament House in Canberra. Source: Supplied

Protesters and police have clashed outside Parliament House in Canberra with authorities using pepper spray to break up the group.

The demonstration is tied to protesters linked to a fire at Old Parliament House that caused major damage to the entrance of the building on 30 December.

Two men and a woman arrested at Parliament House on Thursday morning have been charged with breach of the peace, ACT Policing said.

Footage on social media showed protesters yelling at a large group of police officers forming a line outside Parliament House about 11am on Thursday.

As protesters drew closer to the barrier a physical clash erupted with officers forcibly separating members of the protest group.

The protesters are connected with sovereign citizen and anti-vaccination movements, which have repeatedly held protests outside Old Parliament House in recent weeks.

Police clash with protesters outside Parliament House

Videos posted on social media included showing one protester shouting “always was always will be traditional sovereign land”.

In a statement an ACT Policing spokesperson said authorities "responded to a group of people attempting to enter Parliament House to protest unlawfully”.

The social media footage also showed protesters pouring water over themselves following the use of the pepper spray.

Police are closely monitoring the activities of the group in the lead up to January 26 when Australia Day is recognised.

It's understood some of the protesters have been camping near Old Parliament House.

But groups linked to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy located opposite this site have condemned their behaviour and stressed they are not associated with them.

Separately, two men have been arrested over alleged involvement in a fire at Old Parliament House on 30 December, the force said.

A 30-year-old from Bourke, NSW, has been charged with aid/abet arson of a building, deface public property, aiding and abetting the damage of property, assaulting a frontline service worker and resisting a territory public official.

A 38-year-old from Lindendale, NSW, has been charged with assaulting a frontline service worker, obstructing a public official and breach of bail.  

Both are due before the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday.

Published 13 January 2022 at 3:51pm, updated 13 January 2022 at 6:54pm
By Tom Stayner