A man who was detained during this year’s Midsumma Festival Pride march has promised to return and repeat his protest next year.
Tony Pitman was detained while protesting the Liberal Party at the march last month, but released without charge.
Police alleged that Pitman’s behaviour had been threatening to others’ safety and “in breach of the peace”.
“Victoria Police respects people’s right to protest peacefully, but will not tolerate those who break the law,” said a Victoria Police spokesperson.
A Midsumma spokesperson stated that “peaceful protest” was supported by the festival.
“Midsumma does and will continue to actively support peaceful protest and we are very sorry that such an incident marred the day,” said a spokesperson.
Pitman yesterday released a statement announcing his intention to repeat the protest at next year’s march.
“More specifically, I intend to hire a megaphone and boo the Liberal Party contingent for the entire length of the Pride march, from the beginning to the end,” said Pitman.
“I will walk alongside the Liberal Party marchers are peacefully express my political opinion all the way along Fitzroy Street.”
Pitman said he will formally inform march organisers, police, and media closer to the event date to ensure their awareness of his plans for legitimate peaceful protest.
“I will also ask a friend to video the event, so that, should a ‘misunderstanding’ arise, there will be an audiovisual recording of the incident,” he added.
He invited others to join him and “peacefully boo” against the Liberal Party at next year’s Pride march.
Pitman noted in his statement that should the Liberal Party change its policies to unambiguously support LGBTI rights, and apologise for its past actions against the community, he will not protest.