Posie Parker's Wellington event reportedly cancelled

Sat, Mar 25

Tomorrow's "Let Women Speak gathering" in Wellington has reportedly been cancelled, after Posie Parker's rally in Auckland today was abandoned.

"Tomorrow's Let Women Speak gathering in Wellington has been cancelled," a media statement released this afternoon by Speak Up for Women said. Parker hasn't confirmed the cancellation herself yet.

She told Stuff she would update whether it was going ahead tomorrow morning.

The New Zealand Herald reported she checked into a flight at Auckland International Airport, escorted by police, tonight.

Posie Parker at Auckland Airport.

The statement repeated Parker's views, and strongly criticised the actions of counter-protesters at Auckland's Albert Park today.

"Drowning out the speech of people you don’t like is the cowardly approach of people unwilling to debate contesting views."

The statement also criticised the media's reporting of today's event.

"There was not a 'scuffle' between supporters and Mrs Keen-Minshull did not leave because she got some paint thrown at her," it read, saying an "activist mob" "stampeded" Parker and her supporters, with a number "assaulted and physically harmed".

"Speak Up for Women thanks Mrs Keen-Minshull for having the courage to come to New Zealand and showing up in Albert Park today," the statement said, adding Speak Up for Women intend to lay a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

'Potential safety risk'

Posie Parker escorted from Albert Park by police.

Police said earlier that Parker 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."

They later added that no arrests were made at today's event.

"Police are making enquiries in to all reports of offending during the events."

'We reject this narrative'

In a statement responding to the cancellation, Auckland Pride said: "Tāmaki Makaurau demonstrated its values today and stood up to the vile anti-trans hatred of Posie Parker.

"Parker's subsequent withdrawal from her Wellington event demonstrates the power of community organising and solidarity in showing her that her hateful views are not welcome here."

The group said they had "taken lessons from today about our need to play a greater role to ensure future events remain peaceful and non-violent, especially in a time of rising hatred globally towards rainbow communities", but disputed Parker's version of events.

"Auckland Pride unequivocally stands by peaceful protest as a means of counter protest, and does not endorse any physical violence, regardless of the extent of injury caused.

"There is a narrative quickly taking hold amongst anti-trans groups and individuals that Parker abandoned her event because of violence from our community. We reject this narrative.

"We are of the firm belief that the demonstration of unity, celebration, and acceptance alongside joyous music, chanting, and noise of 5000 supporters was too loud to overcome and the reason for her departure - and not the actions of any one individual."

Posie Parker's entry to NZ encourages hatred - activist

Queer activist Shaneel Lal told Breakfast on Thursday that Parker exacerbates queer hatred, which is already at an "all-time high".

"You look at the amount of queer hatred that has been allowed in our country, last year rainbow youth got burned down in an arson attack, Gloria Greymouth, a pink queer church was vandalised, and a rainbow flag was burnt and staked in their lawn," they said.

"So when you bring someone like Posie Parker into our country, what she does is normalise hatred towards queer people, and it emboldens people to act on hate speech."


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