Protesters clash with anti-trans groups in Victoria Park
The rally was held to counter transphobic speaker Kellie-Jay Keen.
Over 100 protesters rallied together in Victoria Park on Saturday to stand against British anti-trans rights activist Kellie Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker.
Keen is in Australia on a speaking tour around the country to preach transphobic views, claiming to unite people through freedom of speech and harmful gender essentialism theory.
The action on Saturday, organised by a collection of activist groups including the USyd Women’s Collective and Queer Action Collective and the National Union of Students (NUS), is one of many protests organised to object to Keen’s dangerous transphobic rhetoric during her visit.
As the contingent of students and protesters crossed Victoria Park towards Parker and her supporters, a riot squad of over 30 police officers formed a defence line to separate the two groups.
NUS Queer Officer Damien Nguyen, who chaired the event, called for the removal of the trans exclusionary contingent from the grounds.
“Their presence is assaulting trans rights, it’s assaulting our rights, we need to be louder than them,” they said.
SRC President Lia Perkins spoke at the rally, taking time to note the danger in Parker’s attempt to push an anti-trans agenda under the guise of feminism.
“They have it all wrong, there is no counter position between women’s rights and trans rights…those two movements are completely connected,” she said.
Perkins concluded her speech by calling on protesters to join a counter-rally planned by USyd Women’s Collective in protest of the anti-abortion activation planned on March 26 for the Day of the Unborn Child.
Student protesters were supported by trans activists and allies, including CEO for the Australian Sex Workers Association (Scarlet Alliance) Mish Pony.
“Posie Parker and her crew want to keep young LGBTQI people unsupported, in the closet and isolated, and we know this contributes to the current epidemic of ill mental health,” they said.
Keen told her followers to remain vigilant in their anti-trans beliefs despite the outpouring of rage from protesters across the park.
Protesters were further antagonised by Sky News reporter Rita Panahi who danced and mocked the group as they chanted “Posie Parker you can’t hide, you’ve got Nazis on your side.”