Protest against Nelson homeless man turns violent

The brawl (Newshub.)
The brawl (Newshub.)

A protest against a Nelson man who's lived on the streets for years turned violent on Sunday afternoon, the brutal attacks caught on video.

Protesters say Lewis Stanton, known as Hone Ma Heke, is a nuisance and a blight on the Nelson community, and they've had enough.

It was supposed to be a peaceful protest - but Stanton and protest organiser Ru Dawson soon clashed.

Earlier on Sunday morning a small group had marched down Trafalgar St with anti-Stanton signs.

Stanton is a prolific protestor himself. Earlier this year he was sent to prison for the third time in 12 months for refusing to do community service.

That sentence was imposed to replace $1000 worth of unpaid parking fines accrued by Stanton and his horse Barney - who was confiscated by the SPCA last year.

As the protesters approached Stanton, his supporters hurled water bombs from the opposing building.

Stanton grew visibly distressed, and after punches were thrown it descended into chaos.

Mr Dawson says he's disappointed things turned sour, but blames the pro-Stanton group.

The latest kerfuffle will do little to improve Stanton's social standing in Nelson, with many saying they've had enough of him.

Stanton faces one common assault charge, and after refusing bail conditions was remanded in custody until December 6.