Senator Lidia Thorpe has been wrestled to the ground by police after trying to disrupt a trans critic during the Let Women Speak rally outside Canberra’s Parliament House.
Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull was addressing the crowd on Thursday as part of a national tour of protests to oppose pro-LGBTQI activists.
Ms Keen-Minshull, who’s also known as Posie Parker, joined Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts on stage for the rally, which was attended by both trans supporters and critics.
Lidia Thorpe was dragged to the ground by police on Thursday. Picture: AAP Image/Michelle Haywood
Footage that surfaced online after the incident appeared to show Ms Thorpe, who was carrying an Aboriginal flag, being grabbed from behind by a police officer before falling backwards onto the grass.
Officers tried pulling her to her feet before she began crawling across the grass and eventually standing up to march back to a crowd that appeared to be chanting in her support.
Speaking to media after, Ms Thorpe said people “should be ashamed that they even let people like this in this country”.
Indigenous Senator Lidia Thorpe says she was â€œpulverisedâ€ by police at Kellie-Jay Keenâ€™s anti-trans protest outside Parliament House in Canberra â¦@australianâ© pic.twitter.com/kCs0JUVXuz
â€” Jess Malcolm (@jessmalcolm1) March 23, 2023
Thorpe appeared to fall onto her back. Picture: AAP Image/Michelle HaywoodMs Thorpe tried to approach anti-transgender activist Kellie Jay-Keen. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
She told media after the ordeal, “we do not tolerate this filth being on Ngunnawal and Narm country, let alone the Nazi support that these people have. [They are] racist, homophobic, they are destroying people’s lives, and this country should be ashamed that they even let people like this in this country”.
“I went to tell her (Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull), that thing, that they are not welcome here, and I got pulverised by the police for simply telling that person that they are not allowed to be here.
“So 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 need to answer why these people are allowed in this country.”
Further footage showing @SenatorThorpe rushing towards @ThePosieParker
Thankfully her security guards stopped a possible physical attack from happening. The police had no option but to pull her down. #TRAViolence#LetWomenSpeakCanberra
â€” Standing For Women #AdultHumanFemale (@StandingforXX) March 23, 2023
Ms Thorpe said people “should be ashamed that they even let people like this in this country”. Picture: AAP Image/Michelle Haywood
Further footage showed the moment Ms Thorpe approached Ms Keen-Minshull, with the senator holding the Aboriginal flag behind her and repeating, “you are not welcome”.
She was immediately grabbed by a man – presumably a security guard – before a police officer stepped in.
Ms Keen-Minshull at the time was telling her supporters about the meaning of people’s “biological sex” and said women like herself were celebrated.
Once realising she had been approached by Ms Thorpe, she halted the speech and watched as she was tackled to the ground.
Ms Thorpe told Sydney Morning Herald after the incident that she was seeking medical help.
“I need to seek medical attention, I’ve been assaulted by police,” she told the publication.
The Australian Federal Police Thursday afternoon issued a statement revealing the incident would be subject to a professional standards review.
“The interactions between the AFP and protesters will be reviewed, and an incident has been referred to the AFP’s Professional Standards Command,” AFP said, according to the publication.
She also shared the tweet, “Cry me a river”, while at the protest.
Ms Thorpe claimed police assaulted her. Picture: AAP Image/Michelle Haywood
Cry me a river ðŸ¤®
â€” Senator Lidia Thorpe (@SenatorThorpe) March 23, 2023
The incident came after Ms Thorpe drew a fresh wave of public condemnation during the Mardi Gras parade in February.
The Senator – who defected from the Greens earlier this month to speak independently for the Blak sovereign movement – caused a stir when she disrupted the Saturday night parade until she was escorted away by police.
Though it was initially reported to have been an Australian Federal Police float that Senator Thorpe stopped, it has been confirmed that it was the Twenty10 and QLife float – community organisations that provide support for gay, lesbian and transgender children.
The float followed immediately after the AFP’s.
She broke away from police by crawling on her knees. Picture: AAP Image/Michelle HaywoodTrans activists waved flags and displayed signs. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
In videos captured of the incident by Mardi Gras revellers and shared on social media, Ms Thorpe could be seen confronting members of the AFP who were marching in the parade and yelling profanities, before lying in front of a float.
A huge crowd attended in support of trans rights. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
She momentarily halted the parade at about 9pm, while two NSW Police officers spoke to her.
A statement from NSW Police said she was removed from the parade “at the request of organisers for breaching the terms of her participation”.
Trans rights activists attended in large numbers and displayed signs including those that read, “trans rights are human rights”.
Attendees persevered through the rain. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin OllmanSenator Pauline Hanson spoke at the anti-transgender rally. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
Atteneeds stood in the rain with posters and flags, with trans activists chanting and using musical instruments to drown out the sound of Ms Jay-Keen.
“We say the things we’re sometimes scared to say in our real lives without giving a s**t about what people say around us,” she told the people who were there to support her.
“I have to have a police bloody escort from the airport because I said women don’t have penises. It’s bloody revolting.”
An anti trans lesbian couple displayed a sign that read, “lesbians don’t have penises”, with another sign saying “tomboys are not boys” and another, “libraries are for books, not perversion”.
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The opposing side of the lawn became home to a large group holding a sign reading, “transphobes are not welcome here”.
Others displayed signs reading “bigots in the bin”, “you’ve got Nazis on your side”, and “f**k off Posie, f**k off”.