Posie Parker rally: Speech abandoned, Brian Tamaki rally derailed

Sat, Mar 25
Posie Parker escorted from Albert Park by police.

Counter-protesters have forced Posie Parker, whose real name is Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, to abandon her plans to speak in Auckland.

It comes as Destiny Church's Brian Tamaki has been confronted as he also leads an anti-trans protest nearby.

In Auckland, the counter-protest began at 11am this morning, with substantial crowds overshadowing Keen-Minshull's arrival and supporters.

She was surrounded by security as she entered.

Pictures from the scene showed large crowds of counter-protesters holding signs behind a fence in front of the park's rotunda — where Keen-Minshull was expected to speak.

Protesters chanted: “Go home, Posie, go home.”

Keen-Minshull then appears to have been splashed with red paint or other liquid. The activist was then escorted out of the park by security and police.

Inside the rotunda where protesters later surrounded Posie Parker.

The rally and counter-protests are taking place at Albert Park, a location nestled between the University of Auckland and CBD office buildings. However, a separate rally nearby held by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki also became involved later in the day.

Brian Tamaki in Auckland today.

Police said Keen-Minshull was escorted out after the event became unsafe.

"The role of police at events like this is to ensure safety and uphold the law, while recognising the lawful right to protest," a spokesperson said.

"Police were at Albert Park this morning monitoring the event and the counter-protest.

"As soon as it became clear there was a potential safety risk to the event speaker, she was escorted from the area by police staff."

Posie Parker protest.

The controversial British activist landed in Auckland last night after delays to her flights from Australia.

It came after a last-ditch attempt to prevent her from entering the country was dismissed by the High Court. She was also expected to speak in Wellington tomorrow, although a statement from Speak Up for Women this afternoon said that event has been cancelled.

On her live stream at today's rally, Keen-Minshull said: “Maybe it’s time to... say ‘we can’t do it’,”

When Keen-Minshull was asked what can be expected at her event in Albert Park, one of her security guards suggested: "There will be no trouble at Albert Park tomorrow."

Green Party co-leader knocked to ground by motorcyclist

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson was knocked over by a motorcyclist before the rally, the party said in a statement this afternoon.

Co-leader James Shaw said: "Following a public rally in support of trans and non-binary human rights in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland today, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson has reported an incident to Police.

"It appears a motorcyclist failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing and Marama was knocked to the ground."

Davidson is seeing a doctor after the incident, Shaw said, calling the incident "upsetting".

"We ask everyone to give Marama and her whānau some space and time to process what has happened."

Event organisers hire security, police on standby

Scenes from Auckland's Albert Park where a protest against Posie Parker is underway.

An Auckland Council spokesperson told 1News yesterday morning that the organisers of the event had the responsibility not to incite violence.

"The event organisers have the primary responsibility to ensure they run a safe and secure event, and we have been informed that they have hired their own security team," they said.

"All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and the granting of an event permit is a regulatory decision – it does not indicate that the council endorses the event.

"Please note that rallies and protests at public spaces do not require event permits. We recognise that Aucklanders hold a wide range of views on issues and that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly are protected by law."

Advocate worries about violence

Speaking to Breakfast yesterday, Auckland Pride's executive director Max Tweedie said he was concerned about the possibility of violence at the event.

Tweedie said trans rights counter-protests would be "loud" but suggested there could be the "potential" for violence from supporters of Keen-Minshull.

"We will be peaceful, we will be loud, and we will show how strong we stand in solidarity with trans communities. But I think there's a potential for violence from her side," he said.

The advocate said tensions could escalate as a result of the event and counter-protests.


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