23 March 2023

Lidia Thorpe clashes with police at anti-trans rally at Parliament House

| Travis Radford
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Trans rights counter-protesters

Trans rights counter-protesters outnumbered Ms Keen-Minshull’s comparatively small group of supporters. Photo: Travis Radford.

Police stopped controversial Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe from disrupting UK anti-trans rights activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull’s rally outside Parliament House today.

Senator Thorpe attempted to enter the marquee where Ms Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, was holding her last Australian ‘Let Women Speak’ rally.

Police barred Senator Thorpe from entering the marquee, grappling with her before she fell to the ground and then crawled away to rejoin a nearby counter-rally.

“I got pulverised by the police for simply telling [Ms Keen-Minshull] that they are not allowed to be here,” Senator Thorpe said.

“So I’ve been assaulted by the police today … and the police need to answer for the assault.”

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the incident was under investigation and had been referred to the AFP’s Professional Standards Command.

Senator Thorpe said the government needed to explain why Ms Keen-Minshull was allowed into the country to host her controversial speaking tour.

“We do not tolerate this kind of filth being on Ngunnawal and Ngambri country, let alone the Nazi support that these people have,” she said.

Counter-protesters also chanted “you’ve got Nazis on your side”, in reference to a group of men performing Nazi salutes at Ms Keen-Minshull’s rally in Victoria.

The Melbourne and Canberra rallies were two of several hosted by Ms Keen-Minshull during March at every capital city in Australia except for Darwin.

Large groups of trans rights counter-protesters have reportedly outnumbered Ms Keen-Minshull’s supporters at every one of her Australian events.

Canberra’s counter-rally also dwarfed Ms Keen-Minshull’s contingent, which included One Nation senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts and Independent Senator Ralph Babet.

Former Liberal candidate Katherine Deves and Liberal Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler had both planned to attend the rally but pulled out over fears for their safety.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr condemned Ms Keen-Minshull’s event and accused the attending politicians of “playing divisive fringe activist games”.

“We stand in support of our broader LGBTIQ+ community, but in this instance, particularly with our transgender Canberrans,” he said.

“I think Canberra would be the last place you would come to try and seek support for an anti-trans agenda in this country.

“And I think that speaks volumes for the sort of community that we are.”

READ ALSO ACT introduces Australia-first legislation to outlaw ‘inappropriate’ interventions on intersex people

Several ACT MLAs attended the counter-rally, including Greens Johnathan Davis, Emma Davidson, Rebecca Vassarotti and Andrew Braddock.

Mr Davis said it was important for community leaders to stand up for marginalised or oppressed groups facing discrimination.

“As a proud gay man, I have benefited from that kind of solidarity when so many Canberrans took to the streets for me and my rights to marry,” he said.

“It is only fair I do the exact same now that I hold high office and defend the rights of transgender, gender-diverse and non-binary people.”

Mr Davis said Ms Keen-Minshull and her supporters were not representative of his consistency or the broader Canberra community.

“Counter protests … demonstrate to Canberra’s transgender, gender-diverse and non-binary community that Canberrans won’t tolerate that kind of hate speech,” he said.

“Canberrans will not welcome far-right extremists and Canberrans are very proud of the diversity of our city and everyone who lives here.”

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Australian National University student groups organised the counter rally alongside the Canberra chapters of pro-LGBTQIA+ and anti-fascism groups.

Canberra counter-rally chair Carter Chryse said the rallies were designed to push back against Ms Keen-Minshull’s attempts to “broaden the transphobic movement”.

“We’re here to make sure these rallies can’t happen, to make sure there’s scrutiny on the attendees .. and to fight back against transphobia and bigotry,” they said.

Ms Keen-Minshull founded the Standing for Women group, arguing that transgender-inclusive language threatens women’s rights.

Chryse said the argument victimised trans people and acted as a wedge for other far-right ideas.

“The phrasing of it is designed to mask the transphobic core of it and make it sound more reasonable,” they said.

“To say a woman is defined by reproductive organs or by femininity is quite familiar to the most vile, reactionary sexism of yesteryear.

“Not to mention, of course, that trans women are women and to be violently transphobic is against the rights of trans women.”

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Wow, the identitarians get so worked up, dare I say downright hateful, when any woman dares to defend her sex-based rights. As many have said, it’s the modern-day version of hunting witches. There’s been plenty of occasions where these anti women’s rights protesters deliberately cultivate an intimidating atmosphere of menace, threat and violence. Nothing cool and progressive about such toxic and ugly behaviour.

I object to my taxes paying the wage of a professional protestor


Do you want male bodies in women’s sports? If not, you’re on the side of Kellie-Jay, being demonised as “transphobic”.

Do you want adult men NOT in women’s pool/gym changerooms and toilets? If not, you’re on our side.

Carter says:

“To say a woman is defined by reproductive organs or by femininity is quite familiar to the most vile, reactionary sexism of yesteryear.

“Not to mention, of course, that trans women are women and to be violently transphobic is against the rights of trans women.”

Female is a class defined by reproductive capacity, in all mammals, most other species and many plants, as is male. But legislation now deems that an identity with ‘gender’ supersedes sex.

So therefore, if female is no longer a designation of sex but now an identity with gender is that not basing the class of girls and women on femininity? Trans women are women on the basis that they identify with a ‘feminine feeling’, is that not correct? Is that not reactionary sexism of yesteryear carter speaks of?

This is why rational left people are pushing back because the movement is incoherent in its political aims. It’s all about feelings. We can’t decide to move forward and address the needs of both groups if we always approach the issues in a reactionary way. Law and policy need to be clear and evidence based, not loosley based on incoherent ideas.

Both ways are sexist. And i think that gender shouldnt be a big deal at all. Im a girl but i want a dick so i can be dominant in sex and i wanna wear a suit cuz dresses is something im not used to. And i wanna be treated masculinely because that way people dont infantilixe me. And i want to have no breasts so im not objectified and so i can play lazertag without issues. I dont like being treated differently just cuz im born a girl. And i dont like being forced into this womanhood role and bejng a woman whne i believe that a woman can be whatever she wants, a woman can want to have a ddick and can want to have no breasts and can deny wanting a baby, and a woman can be top dom in sex, and a woman doesnt have to wear any make up and wear suits. Stop letting society dictate what gender is.

Johnathan Davis, Emma Davidson, Rebecca Vassarotti and Andrew Braddock.were standing with people brandishing star pickets, men shouting such vile abuse it cannot be repeated here, and men who had visible erections from the excitement they got at abusing women.

Meanwhile, women did nothing but speak, peacefully.

Think about that.

ACT Policing we’re supposed to be there doing crowd control of the mostly male trans activists. We saw not one ACT police officer. Clearly Barr stood them down for the event. Shameful and dangerous.

Why didn’t you bother interviewing the canberra organisers of the event? Or weren’t you interested in the truth?

I fully support your comments, LH.

I was there. Kellie-Jay is a women’s rights campaigner. She’s not ‘anti trans’. Numbers were low because people were, rightly, scared off after seeing the violent thugs attacking een in other states.

KJK supports women-only spaces. There should be no male bodies in women’s sports, changerooms and toilets.

The media failed to report what the women speakers were actually saying.

Her anti-trans comments do not equate with women’s rights. Being sidetracked about changerooms and toilets shows a distinct lack of understanding of a complex issue.

Female centred politics and advocacy is not complex.

Collapsing female people into an ‘identity’ group is what gives rise to complexity. Sex is the site of women’s opression, gender is the tool. Women are already subordinated in most societies on the basis of sex, and now people seek to subordinate them to claims of projected identity. Quite surreal.

Gender is the complexity. Female people should be centred in feminism.

Trevor Willis4:38 pm 24 Mar 23

I am sure that the people who voted for this idiot when she was a Greeny are sorry they did so. She is pathetic and now a so-called “independent” — maybe that should be “incompetent”.
It was good to see that we had a Proud Gay man and a Proud Black man in attendance. Am I allowed to be a Proud White Heterosexual Man?

You may get away with being a proud white heterosexual man, but I am beginning to wonder whether I am still permitted to be a Proud Heterosexual Woman regardless of the colour of my skin.

Finagen_Freeman8:53 am 24 Mar 23

Fell down. Not pulverised. Not assaulted. She fell. Started crawling. Got up. If her terminology is indicative of other issues she’s vocal on, then she’s extreme.

Michael Pless3:11 pm 24 Mar 23

I agree entirely. I haven’t seen clear footage from the front but from behind it appears the bearded policeman was trying to move her away from the scene when she tottered on her high heels and fell. He is unable to prevent her and afterwards says, “…stand up….” as a policewoman also attempts to help, Thorpe continues to (needlessly) crawl away. For an elected Parliament official to behave in the manner she does certainly raises questions in my mind as to her motives, if not her sanity. And therefore, the value she gives for the salary she receives, which I believe is around $600. Per day. I certainly hope none of the police receive any sanctions from this.

Gregg Heldon7:50 am 24 Mar 23

Not a fan of either Thorpe or Keen-Minshall. Both are as divisive and as jarring as each other for different reasons but I believe in their right to express their opinions. I’d be more inclined to give them the time of day if they didn’t use grandstanding as a default setting, though.
I also believe in an authorised, peaceful public gathering taking place without disruption, whether I agree with the views on display or not. As long as they’re not espousing anything illegal. Exactly the same as the counter protest, should one take place. But when someone tries to disrupt one of the other, then the Police, unfortunately, need to intervene.

@Gregg Heldon
“But when someone tries to disrupt one of (or?) the other, then the Police, unfortunately, need to intervene.” Yep – fair comment.

Gregg Heldon1:13 pm 24 Mar 23

I did mean or. Sorry.

The women had sought and got a permit. The men had not. The men were hurling vile abuse and brandishing weapons. We were not.

I don’t know how you can ban certain gestures one performs with their body and frankly it is a victory to Neo-Nazis if you ban the raising of your hand and associate it forever with with facism. What if a friendly wave gets misconstrued by police? Are we to ban swastikas and alienate Hindu people who use it as a religious symbol?

@Sam Oak
Oh OK, so those white supremacists in Victoria were just waving to their mates across the road were they? Thanks for the clarification.

JustSaying, I really wish we could do likes here.

JS, have you got proof they weren’t?

Bob the impala5:51 pm 24 Mar 23

They were just waving their arms to help to create a cooling breeze for the planet owing to their concern about climate change, weren’t they Sam Oak.

Hitler had a moustache, so I guess we ban all moustaches as well. Difference between right wing and left wing politics is that one supports freedom of speech and freedom of expression and the other tries to censure anything they don’t like. If you don’t agree with the transgender movement then your voice is censured, simple as that.

@Sam Oak
and I suppose your favourite number is 18?

Women’s rights advocates are not Nazis. The Nazis gatecrashed the steps of Victorian parliament, and were given free access by VicPol. The Australian Jewish Association came out in support of the women. Please check your facts.

She fell down so easily, if she had been playing soccer I’m sure the referee would have given her a red card for diving.
Is it true that she was calling out “Notice me, notice me” as she was running towards the marquee?

A copper grabs her from behind, pulls her backwards, she falls and you call it a “dive”, Harry? Not sure what “referee school” you went to, but that’s a penalty every day of the week.

Velvet Garnet10:19 am 24 Mar 23

‘Is it true that she was calling out “Notice me, notice me” as she was running towards the marquee?’
No, who on Earth told you that?

@Velvet Garnet
I’ll let you in on a secret as to who was ‘calling out’ “Notice me”.

As per article on News.com – https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/she-should-be-embarrassed-peter-dutton-slams-lidia-thorpes-behaviour-at-let-women-speak-event/news-story/80e586d6e0949c863b73ef71395e15b4

Pauline Hanson is quoted (referring to Thorpe): ‘“(These) are her actions all the time, she wants relevance all the time, she’s trying to make a name for herself,”’ … after her earlier comment: ‘“I was there … you can see me in the footage anyway in the white dress, that was me”‘

She was wearing high heeled shoes and dropped down. It was not the coppers fault.

Sorry JustSaying, I couldn’t follow your link to news.com, I don’t subscribe to any Murdoch rubbish.

@Harry – Then it’s a good thing I didn’t direct the link to you isn’t it?

@Elf OMG – take up your QAnon glasses and actually look at the video … the copper grabs her and turns her to the right as he pulls her backwards … sheesh talk about seeing what you want to see!

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