'Scum! Shame!' Melbourne police pepper-spray protesters outside Liberal party fundraiser (PHOTOS)

© David Gray
Melbourne police pepper-sprayed protesters rallying against the government's treatment of asylum seekers and changes to higher education. The clashes took place outside a Liberal Party fundraiser where the Australian prime minister was speaking.

Around 150 people gathered outside the venue where the fundraiser was taking place to voice their opposition to Australia's treatment of refugees, as well as the government's proposed cuts to higher education and the deregulation of course fees.

The demonstrators chanted “No ifs, no buts, no education cuts” while attempting to prevent people from entering the fundraiser.

Many protesters pushed or shoved police as horses were brought in to manage the crowd, many of whom were shouting “scum” and “shame” at guests attending the event, the Age reported.

Officers used pepper-spray on protesters after some ran to a side entrance to try to confront Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was speaking at the Liberal Party fundraiser, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Ten to 20 people were reportedly pepper-sprayed, including a cameraman for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The Herald Sun reported that a child around the age of 10 or 11 was seen running away screaming “It hurts, it hurts,” after being pepper-sprayed.

Some injured demonstrators were shown to have blooded faces during the clashes, which led to several broken windows at the venue hosting the fundraiser.

Former government minister Peter Reith was also accosted by protesters on his way to the event, according to local media reports.

It is so far unclear if any arrests were made.