- The protest against the Let Women Speak women’s rights rally in Auckland’s Albert Park turned unruly, as planned.
- Police failed to “serve and protect”.
- Green and Labour Party MPs said afterward they were proud of the protesters.
- Greens co-leader Marama Davidson made the outrageous statement violence comes exclusively from “white cis men”, unaware many outside the LBGTQ community don’t even know what “cis” means?
The protest was unruly, as planned
Kelly-Jay Keen-Minshull (aka “Posie Parker”) was prevented from speaking at her Let Women Speak rally in Auckland on 25 March 2023, and was forced to flee after trans activist protesters violently disrupted the event.
Organisers of the protest such as Shaneel Lal stated on public television their intent to “drown out that transphobic hatred” and prevent the public meeting.
A large number of the protesters committed a variety of offences against public order. Unsurprisingly it did cause violence, with numerous assaults, including an attack on an elderly woman that fractured her skull. These offences were clearly evident with copious video documentation.
Media and politicians who encouraged the plan are seen by many as culpable.
Police stood at a distance and refused to maintain order or respond to calls for help. A woman interviewed by Sean Plunket on the Platform claims Sergeant Sean Richardson’s response to a request for help was “We’re not here to protect you. That’s not our job.”
Despite TV crews interviewing several of the proud assailants, two days later police had made no arrests or taken action. Eliana Rubashkyn, who poured tomato juice over Keen-Minshull, said “I did assault her and I will do it again, and if I need to be 10 years in prison I’m happy to be 10 years in prison.” Another two days later, after numerous complaints, police issued an arrest warrant for he/she/they, whose whereabouts are unknown but reportedly had fled to Australia. Police are investigating further assaults.
Government fueled the harassment
Politicians gave support to the protest to prevent Keen-Minshull’s rally, including Grant Robertson. Justice Minister Kiri Allen told people to “stand up, make some noise and support our trans whānau by showing up and drowning out any bigotry that seeks to divide”. Immigration Minister Michael Wood said he would prefer she “never set foot in New Zealand”.
Keen-Minshull says when she arrived in New Zealand, Customs searched her luggage and questioned her for two hours. Very embarrassing to many that NZ stooped so low.
Absolute disregard for the safety of the women’s group
Chlöe Swarbrick, Marama Davidson and other Green MPs who attended made supportive comments with no regard for the safety or rights of the people whose rally was prevented. Davidson made the, by now, infamous statement that “I am a prevention violence minister and I know who causes violence in the world. It is white cis-men.” She has tried to walk it back on the basis she was somewhat in shock from what was, at worst, a very minor injury. The real problem is not that she said it, but that she could even think in such a prejudicial way.
There are however, many who are sympathetic to the women’s side and there could well be pushback as the publicity awakens New Zealanders to what many did not realise.
Thomas Cranmer concluded it was in all respects a politically sanctioned and organised mob. NZ First’s Winston Peters and ACT’s David Seymour spoke out against the violence. National’s Chris Luxon said the rights to free speech must be protected even when it is of a view one may dislike.