A women’s rights rally #LetWomenSpeak in Melbourne was disrupted by multiple groups on Saturday afternoon.
The women’s rights rally had a mix of individuals speaking, and the crowd listening was made up of a cross section of the community, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Trans activists claiming the rally was hateful broke police lines multiple times to try and stop the women from speaking in their designated space, leading to multiple altercations with security and police.
On the outer edges of the rally, another group of agitators were in a stand-off, adding to the chaos on the streets of Melbourne.
Victoria Police stand between two groups that have come to hijack the #letwomenspeak women’s rights rally in front of Parliament House in Melbourne. The agitators from extreme opposing ideological sides were locked in a stand-off for about 1 hour while guarded by police. At one point the police facilitated the group of men clad in black throwing sieg hall salutes to drift towards the women’s right rally to hold a banner and make gestures to everyone from the steps of Parliament. They were then given a protective police guard when moving out of the Parliament precinct in front of another pro trans rights counter-protest that was trying to drown out the women’s rights protest.
In the chaos of multiple protests and counter protests many media and political pundits have taken the opportunity to infer a direct link between the women’s rights group and the men clad in black due to the proximity of the groups as well as a shared opposition to other counter protesters. However having been able to observe what happened first hand it was obvious that both groups agitating had no respect for the women’s rights rally, and were mostly there for their own ideological battle and promotion.