Lidia Thorpe Was Tackled By Police While Counter Protesting An Anti-Trans Rally
The Australian Federal Police say they will review the incident.
Former Greens senator Lidia Thorpe has been confronted by police officers while counter-protesting an anti-trans rally in Canberra, just days after a similar demonstration in Melbourne led by the controversial activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull was joined by neo-Nazis.
After a poorly attended rally in Hobert saw Keen-Minshull — also known as Posie Parker — become visibly frustrated with the crowd of LGBTIQ+ rights counter-protesters, Keen proceeded to stage a demonstration on the lawn of Parliament House along with a small group of protestors. While reports indicate that the few protesters at the rally were easily outnumbered by the large group of counter-protesters, the small demonstration was supported by right-wing politicians including Pauline Hanson, Malcolm Roberts, and Ralph Babet.
Posie Parker posing with Pauline Hanson, Malcolm Roberts and Ralph Babet. Hanson now speaking. pic.twitter.com/HIWaHe0S9m
— Paul Karp (@Paul_Karp) March 23, 2023
In a distressing scene, Djab Wurrung, Gunnai, and Gunditjmara woman and Independent senator Thorpe appeared to be pulled to the ground by police officers while trying to approach Keen-Minshull, who was sheltering from the rain under a marque along with a small group of protesters. After being released by officers, Thorpe crossed back into the crowd of pro-trans activists, telling reporters that she had planned to tell Keen “they are not allowed to be here”.
“This country should be ashamed that they even let people like this into this country,” Thorpe said.
“I went to tell her, that thing, that they are not welcome here. I got pulverised by the police by simply telling that person they are not allowed to be here. I’ve been assaulted by the police today, as a sovereign Gunnai Gunditjmara Djab Wurrung woman, and the police need to answer for the assault but also this government needs to answer why these people are allowed into this country.”
Independent senator Lidia Thorpe has been stopped by police from Kellie-Jay Keen’s speech, right in front of Pauline Hanson before joining the counter-rally via @canberratimes #auspol pic.twitter.com/nYUPBAHWCF
— Sarah Basford Canales (@sbasfordcanales) March 23, 2023
In a statement, a spokesperson from the Australian Federal Police said that the incident would be reviewed and referred to the AFP’s Professional Standards Command.
This incident comes after the police have been accused of making violent arrests, as when an anti-fascist protester appeared to be kneed in the back of the head.
The secretary of the Police Association Victoria Sergeant Wayne Gatt told the ABC he “wouldn’t condemn the actions of individual officers”.