A group of protesters outside Victoria’s Parliament House have performed a Nazi salute during a clash with trans rights activists. On Sunday morning, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews blasted the demonstration, re-affirming that “Nazis aren’t welcome. Not on Parliament’s steps. Not anywhere”.
Approximately 30 men from the neo-Nazi group “The National Socialist Movement” blocked traffic along Melbourne’s Spring St on Saturday while the founder of anti-trans group “Standing for Women”, Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshul (also known as Posie Parker) gave a speech.
The events prompted a lengthy Twitter thread from the Premier, who said he wouldn’t “share a photo because they [the Nazis] simply don’t deserve the attention.”
He labelled the Nazi ideology as “evil”, with a goal to “scapegoat minorities – and it’s got no place here”.
I won't share a photo because they simply don't deserve the attention.— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) March 19, 2023
But yesterday, anti-trans activists gathered to spread hate.
And on the steps of our Parliament, some of them performed a Nazi salute.
Saturday’s protests saw a 22-year-old man arrested for allegedly putting the officer into a headlock and wrestling her to the ground per the Herald Sun.
A 23-year-old woman was also arrested for an alleged slapping.
Pepper spray was reportedly used on at least one occasion by police, causing several protesters to require treatment from paramedics.
The National Socialist Movement members held up a sign that read “destroy paedo freaks”.
WTF Melbourne. All groups and citizens should denounce this… pic.twitter.com/N7wVqkWoj3— sandee (@sunnysandeel) March 18, 2023
In an interview with 9 News, a representative from Victoria’s 18,000-member police union said the protests were harmful but weren’t able to be stopped by authorities.
“Yes they’re inciting hatred. Yes, it’s deeply offensive in the community,” the union’s secretary Wayne Gatt said.
“But it’s not something that police can actively intervene on (sic) and that’s difficult for us.”
The police union wants the Nazi salute outlawed after white supremacists marched outside State Parliament, taunting protesters. @LanaMurphy #9News pic.twitter.com/B8Gw0ALlIQ— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) March 18, 2023
The website of Keen-Minshul’s anti-trans group Standing for Women proudly declares that “2023 is the year of the TERF” — a term which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.
Per the literal dictionary, it describes someone who “believes that a trans woman’s gender identity is not legitimate and who is hostile to the inclusion of trans people and gender-diverse people in the feminist movement”.
I’m sorry but why was this person let into the country in the first place?
Surrounded by Nazi-saluting masked supporters, the anti-transgender & fascist-allied Keen is aware that the vast majority of women have joined counter-protests against her in Australia. She blasts these "stupid young women" in Melbourne, telling them "you will become us". 🤡🤡🤡 pic.twitter.com/6uwDo8VIEt— Pauline Pantsdown (@PPantsdown) March 18, 2023
Keen-Minshul has been speaking in multiple cities across Australia and New Zealand on a tour sponsored by Binary Australia.
Binary Australia is a group that, according to its website, aims to “campaign, inform and provide resources to keep concerned Australians in the know, to give them the knowledge they need to stand up for reality, and advocate for those impacted by this harmful ideology.
“Male and female. That’s it.”
Imagine being involved with that. What a trash use of your time…
Federal Labor MP Josh Burns from the inner Melbourne seat of Macnamara later released a statement on the “ugly alliance between anti-trans bullies and neo-Nazis”.
He called the events “extremely confronting” and having “no place in Australia”.
He finished his statement by asking if it was “time for us to consider whether tougher laws are needed”.
My statement on the neo-Nazis marching outside the Victorian Parliament today 👇#auspol pic.twitter.com/zoWjCQc2wT— Josh Burns (@joshburnsmp) March 18, 2023
Select members of the Victorian Liberal opposition also denounced the anti-trans protesters, with MPs David Southwick and Brad Battin releasing a joint statement.
“The behaviours today by neo-Nazis are a deliberate attempt to incite hatred and violence and are nothing short of sickening,” they wrote.
“These shameful individuals and the hateful ideology they push have no place in our state and must never be tolerated. Victoria is better than this”.
This comes just weeks after newly elected Victorian Liberal MP Moira Deeming used her maiden speech in parliament to criticise trans inclusivity.
Deeming said that allowing trans women to use female bathrooms was “what most women would consider to be sexual harassment and indecent exposure,” per SBS.
Members of the Labor government and Greens crossbench were quick to call Deeming out for her remarks, with Premier Daniel Andrews asserting that “we are an inclusive, harmonious, respectful place where equality is a non-negotiable.”
The speech delivered by new Liberal MP Moira Deeming in Parliament just now was utterly vile.— Samantha Ratnam (@SamanthaRatnam) February 21, 2023
Trans and gender diverse Victorians face stigma, discrimination and violence on a daily basis because of transphobic views like Deeming's.
The Greens won't stand for it.
The situation is still evolving. Updates to follow.
If you’d like to talk about the issues raised in this story, you can call the QLife LGBTI peer support hotline on 1800 184 527 or chat online.
QLife operates between 3pm and midnight daily.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.
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