A Shameful Protest By James Reed
A note of disassociation, and regret should be made about the violence seen at the event at St Michael’s Church in Belfield, in Sydney’s southwest, where NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham was to speak on the gender agenda issue. The meeting was protested by a LGBTQI+ activist group, who were vastly outnumbered by Christian protesters, and violence broke out. Usually the Right are outnumbered by the Left, and violence breaks out too. That being so, both groups have the right to protest, but it is unfortunate that the Christians have resorted to such tactics. At first, I thought that there must have been a hijacking done by the extreme Right, as we, not the Left define it, but that does not seem to be so. Overall, such behaviour does nothing for the cause, and in fact turns ordinary people off.
“Sydney MP Alex Greenwich has labelled NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham a “disgusting human being”, after riot police were called to suppress a violent clash that erupted at a protest where he was delivering a speech.
LGBTQI+ activist group Community Action for Rainbow Rights was protesting the event at St Michael’s Church in Belfield, in Sydney’s southwest, on Tuesday night when hundreds of far-right counter-protesters swarmed the group, hurling projectiles at officers, police allege.
Police arrested two men over the “violent confrontation”, which grew to include an estimated 500 people, charging one 34-year-old with encouraging the commission of a crime and a 41-year-old with common assault.
The event had been promoted by the church as a forum on religious freedom and parental rights – which police advised Mr Latham not to attend – with Community Action for Rainbow Rights saying its members had been mobbed by Christian Lives Matter activists.
Mr Greenwich railed against the violence, describing Mr Latham as a “disgusting human being” and warning voters against a party that “leads to violence”. “Last night’s violent incident makes it clear that if you are voting for One Nation this election, you are voting for rhetoric that leads to violence,” he said.
NSW Police Superintendent Sheridan Waldau condemned the violence, saying projectiles appeared to have been thrown by the mob attending the event.
Footage from the fracas shows police encircling the pro-trans activists to hold back the horde of black and grey-clad men hurling abuse.
Mr Latham said the duty of police should be to protect the rights of election candidates, not “join the cancel culture movement.”