|By stranders filming had their phones smashed|
Violence erupted at a New South Wales state Liberal party meeting last night in Arncliffe, Sydney. The meeting was organised at a cafe owned by a Liberal party member in the middle of Arncliffe's busy shopping centre and across the road from Arncliffe train station.
However before the meeting even got started there was a big punchup between rivaling factions. One man was taken to hospital after being punched and kicked, and even a police officer was assaulted before the man ran off around a corner. An elderly lady innocently entering the cafe was pushed to the ground, and bystanders trying to film the incident had their phones smashed.
There's been no arrests yet but police are appealing to the public for images or footage they may have taken, being that it was in such a busy area.
Welcome to Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal party, 2018:
They're scenes that couldn't be further from what you'd expect at a Liberal Party branch meeting. But this gathering turned ugly at a cafe in Sydney, with a bloody brawl breaking out, leaving a man in hospital. #9News pic.twitter.com/5EbvgRuOqY— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) June 19, 2018
One witness, who did not want to be identified, described the situation as an attempted "hostile takeover" of the branch.
"Just before the meeting started, there was an altercation where some people were intimidating and swearing and pushing and shoving of the others who belonged to the meeting," he said.
"Others outside were blocked from entering the meeting."
The man said an elderly lady inside the cafe was "trampled on", and a man who tried to intervene was "ganged up on".
"They started bashing him … they took him outside and started kicking him.
"To be honest I thought he was going to die."
The man also said some people tried to film the incident, but their phones were taken and smashed.
Police are yet to determine how many people were involved in the incident and are appealing for anyone with vision of the incident to come forward. ABC (video below of witness)