Rally organiser denies mystery lady in red brought down Thorpe

The organiser of a rally headed by an anti-trans campaigner outside Parliament House has defended a member seen grabbing at Victorian senator Lidia Thorpe during a tussle with police, rejecting claims that she helped pull the senator down during the fray.

The Canberra convenor of the controversial Let Women Speak rally said Thorpe had decided to fall to the ground after being tackled by police and security, adding most people could see through the senator’s talk after she claimed to have been “pulverised” by police.


“If you start implying that one of our marshalls pulled Lidia Thorpe down, that is farcical,” said Lucy, who declined to provide her last name owing to multiple threats she said she and other members had received.

“All you have to do is look at the size of this close-to 70-year-old woman. Believe me, she would have no power to pull Lidia Thorpe over.”

The Australian Federal Police has referred the incident to its own professional standards command after one of its officers was seen to tackle Thorpe, with Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus seeking urgent advice from the AFP over the “concerning” footage.

A spokesperson for Dreyfus said on Friday the attorney-general had spoken to AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, who assured him a review was underway.

After the incident, Thorpe joined a counter-protest of trans-rights activists at the front of Parliament House.

Alex Ellinghausen

“That investigation will examine relevant footage, and officers and witnesses will be interviewed,” the spokesperson said, declining to comment further.

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney told ABC radio on Friday morning the footage of Thorpe was “disturbing and concerning”.

“My concern is for Lidia, I hope she’s getting the support that she should get,” Burney said.

Thorpe, clad in an Aboriginal flag, chanted “you are not welcome here” as she tried to intervene in the small rally as controversial anti-trans campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull spoke.

Thorpe was tackled by a security guard and a police officer as she strode towards Keen-Minshull. The guard blocked her passage while the officer is seen to grab the senator and forcefully pull her backwards. Footage shot by and also appears to show one of Keen-Minshull’s supporters, wearing a red “Let Women Speak” vest, grabbing and pulling Thorpe just before the senator fell heavily to the ground.

Thorpe then crawled out of the fray and joined a large counter-protest of trans-rights activists.

Minutes after the incident, Thorpe alleged she had been assaulted by police, and accused the rally participants of being homophobic. A spokesperson for Thorpe said on Friday the senator wouldn’t make any further comment while an investigation was underway.

The opposition’s leader in the Senate, Simon Birmingham, said he was always concerned for the welfare of his upper house colleagues but also respected the “difficult task that police have to undertake in terms of maintaining peace as well as law and order”.

Neo-Nazis marched on Spring Street last Saturday.

Chris Hopkins

“There are various different camera angles for the footage yesterday. I’m sure the police investigations will take all of that into account in terms of what actions were underway, and the steps that were taken to ensure the peaceful conduct of the event was preserved, as well as the way in which Senator Thorpe was engaged with,” Birmingham said.

Thorpe’s former Greens colleagues, including Senator David Shoebridge, attended the counter-protest to show “solidarity with the trans and gender diverse community and opposing bigotry, hate and far-right extremism”.

A contingent of neo-Nazis crashed a Melbourne rally featuring Keen-Minshull last Saturday, raising the profile of the events and prompting fierce criticism from federal parliamentarians. Keen-Minshull denied associating with neo-Nazis and criticised those men who attended, while Lucy said her members represented the furthest thing from Nazis.

Lucy denied she and her members were anti-trans campaigners, but rather disaffected Labor and Greens voters who were complaining about transgender people intruding on women’s-only spaces and the gender reassignment of young people.

Lucy said her members were of the “hardcore left” and weren’t aware One Nation senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts would attend.

“I know for a fact that had I known she [Hanson] was going to be there, I would’ve had a mutiny on my hands,” Lucy said, adding her members would have refused to be involved. However, she said she couldn’t disagree with what Hanson said once she spoke.

( Information from politico.com was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

Leave a Comment

Share to...