Australian senator forced to ground by police at anti-trans rally
Sydney, Australia, Mar 23 (EFE).- An Australian senator was forced to the ground by police on Thursday after she attempted to interrupt the speech of an anti-transgender activist outside Parliament House, in the third altercation involving LGBT+ rights since the weekend.
As British anti-trans campaigner Kelly-Jay Keen-Minshull was speaking to supporters, independent senator Lidia Thorpe walked up to her saying “you are not welcome,” before she was stopped by police officers, one of which pulled her down onto the grass.
Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, was talking at a “Let Women Speak” rally, which was also attended by the leader of the Australian ultra-nationalist One Nation party, Pauline Hanson.
The activist is on tour in Australia and has sparked counter rallies from trans-rights activists, leading to clashes.
A larger crowd carrying rainbow flags to defend the rights of LGBT+ people gathered nearby Keen-Minshull’s rally on Thursday, chanting phrases such as “Posie Parker you can’t hide, you’ve got Nazis on your side.”
This is the third incident involving altercations between activists for and against the rights of the LGBT+ community in Australia since Saturday, when dozens of neo-Nazis performing the Nazi salute in front of Victoria’s parliament in Melbourne boycotted a peaceful pro-trans protest held in response to another Keen-Minshull event.
Two days ago, dozens of people verbally and physically assaulted a small group of trans rights advocates protesting outside a Sydney church where a One Nation politician was to speak on religious freedom and parental rights.
In the midst of the growing friction, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) issued a brief statement on Thursday in which it said it was “aware of a matter relating to protests near Australian Parliament House.”
“The interactions between the AFP and protesters will be reviewed, and an incident has been referred to the AFP’s Professional Standards Command,” it added, possibly alluding to the incident involving senator Thorpe.
The main leaders of the government and the opposition have condemned the incidents in Melbourne, and Victoria state authorities announced that they will expand the 2022 law that prohibits the Nazi swastika to include a ban on the Nazi salute. EFE