LGBTQ+ activists injured in Australia clash with One Nation supporters at ‘peaceful’ protest

Riot police made two arrests after about 250 people targeted a peaceful protest by LGBTQ+ advocates in Sydney, Australia.

A small number of people from local group Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) attended a protest against an anti-trans talk, at a church in the city’s south west, held by Mark Latham, a New South Wales (NSW) politician and the state leader of the right-wing One Nation party.

The church advertised the event as an “invitation only” community forum about religious freedom and parental rights.

Video of the incident, seen by PinkNews, shows the peaceful protesters asking police to “get us out of here” and telling the One Nation supporters that they’re leaving, before the group surges and punches are thrown at the LGBTQ+ protesters.

In a statement on Facebook, CARR labelled the incident a “disgusting and violent escalation” of behaviour from anti-LGBTQ+ people in the city.

The protesters “literally didn’t say a single word” to the mob before the attack, CARR said.

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The Australia group alleged people had rocks, bottles and punches thrown at them. It also called out One Nation and Latham for doing nothing to stop it.

Tweeting about his speaking event, Latham labelled the peaceful protesters (who he called LGBTQ Alphabet protesters) part of “rainbow fascism”.

Latham also claimed police advised him against speaking, which he said was “a denial of democracy”.

In other tweets, he branded some media coverage of the incident “fake news” and “leftie political scamming”.

However, he also noted that “violence at political events is wrong” and that he “didn’t see what happened on the front street”, offering his best wishes to those injured.

NSW Police superintendent Sheridan Waldau told ABC News that the peaceful protesters were rushed by the “mob” who had been at the event, prompting “a very violent confrontation”.

Waldau also said Latham was told about the violent incident and decided to proceed with his speech.

NSW Police provided more detail about the incident in a statement, alleging that “a number of glass bottles and other projectiles were thrown at police”, injuring one officer, who was taken to hospital.

A 38-year-old man was also pushed to the ground and assaulted, it said.

Australia police are continuing to investigate the incident.

The two people arrested, one aged 34 and the other 41, are due on court in the coming months.

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