19 Mar 2023

Rainbow Greens ask government to ban anti-transgender activist from New Zealand

5:56 pm on 19 March 2023
Green MP Ricardo Menendez March speaking in Parliament's debating chamber

The Green Party's immigration spokesperson, Ricardo Menendez-March, wants the government to consider whether a visit to New Zealand by a British anti-transgender activist could pose a security risk. Photo: Phil Smith

The Green Party says the government should stop a British anti-transgender activist from visiting New Zealand.

Some protesters were seen to be giving Nazi salutes and abusing LGBT counter-protesters at the event featuring Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, in Melbourne yesterday.

Three people were arrested as clashes broke out between those attending the anti-transgender rally and hundreds of other protesters rallying in favour of transgender rights, The Canberra Times reported.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman told the publication a 22-year-old man was arrested for allegedly putting a female officer in a headlock and taking her to the ground, and a 23-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly slapping an officer in the neck. Another 22-year-old was arrested for unlawful assault, the spokeswoman said.

Keen-Minshull is set to speak at events in New Zealand next week.

Green Party immigration spokesperson Ricardo Menendez-March said the government needed to consider the security risks to New Zealanders.

"I do think we should be considering whether her arrival to Aotearoa could pose a security risk for our communities and the repercussions that it could have when it comes to galvanising the far right."

The Rainbow Greens have written to the immigration minister, calling for Keen-Minshull to be banned.

Australian Liberal MPs David Southwick and Brad Battin said in a joint statement that yesterday's incident was "an affront to every Victorian who values our inclusive, tolerant and multicultural society".

"The behaviours today by neo-Nazis are a deliberate attempt to incite hatred and violence and are nothing short of sickening," it continued.

"These shameful individuals and the hateful ideology they push have no place in our state and must never be tolerated."

The Victorian government has said it is open to looking at further action against the display of hate symbols following the incident, the ABC reported.

Last year, Victoria became the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban the Nazi swastika, with those who defy the ban to face jail terms and hefty fines.

The legislation did not include the Nazi salute, also known as the Sieg Heil.

Federal Labor MP Josh Burns called for the salute to be banned.

"I think we need to look across government about what laws are required across the country, how we can work with and between different layers of government in order to ensure that this sort of bigoted and really ugly scenes we saw don't happen again."

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said police officers would have been "disgusted" at the actions of the men performing the salute, but were required to protect them from counter-protesters.

But Gatt said he was not sure banning the Nazi salute would be effective.

"People who are hell-bent and intent on causing offence and outrage will just find something else. They'll find something else to do to replace the thing that was outlawed."


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