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Christian group marches through Newtown in apparent anti-queer protest

Honi was told by a witness that the men intimidated people along King Street.

A group of Christian men marched through Newtown on Friday night in what appears to have been an intimidatory act targeted at queer people. 

The group of roughly 30 people walked down King Street, loudly chanting the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary. Many wore dark hoodies and facemasks. 

NSW Police walked alongside the men down King Street. No arrests were made, although police are investigating an alleged assault at a King Street venue and any connections of the incident with the march. The police told Honi that these inquiries are ongoing.

Honi was told by a witness that the men were seeking to intimidate people who appeared to be queer. Multiple witnesses told Honi of the intimidatory effect of the march.

The Twitter account of anti-drug-dog group Sniff Off reported that the group entered queer venues along King Street. A witness reported that the men lunged through an open window at the Bank Hotel, near Newtown Station, seeking to assault those inside.

While initial media reports suggested the men were members of the “Christian Lives Matter” group, Facebook group admin Charlie Bakhos denies his and the group’s involvement with the event. Bakhos posted videos of the march on social media, accompanied by the caption “huge turnout with the boys praying powerful rosary in Newtown tonight.”

NSW Police said that “officers attached to the Inner West Police Area Command, along with specialist police resources attended King Street, Newtown, in relation to unauthorised protest activity.”

Police spoke with the group before they dispersed, according to a NSW Police spokesperson.

Rumors have begun circulating among King St venue managers that a similar protest will be held tonight.