Campaign posters for two prominent LGBTQI activists and Victorian Socialist candidates have been defaced with box cutters and torn down on Melbourne’s northside.

In images supplied to Star Observer, Ali Hogg who is running for Darebin South West Ward and Roz Ward who is running for Central West Ward, have both had images of their faces and their surnames slashed out in a manic fashion.

I caught them in the act. They were really aggressively cutting out the surnames with a box cutter and cutting out crosses across their faces saying they don’t want this kind of filth in the neighbourhood. I was quite shaken up by it,” a concerned resident who did not want to be named told Star Observer.

Not only was there damage done to both campaign posters but both vandals also caused significant damage to a property fence in the attack.

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 Roz Ward was the founder of the Safe Schools Program, which was designed as a federally funded anti-bullying program aimed at educating students about sexual and gender diversity.

“I always knew that running a public campaign, would carry the risk of the abuse I got around Safe Schools coming back out again. We talked about that before I became a candidate, the party was very conscious that everything that could be done to buffer me was done.” Ward told Star Observer this week.

In recent weeks and months Ward has also been subjected to a number of faceless attacks online, ‘you shouldn’t be allowed near kids fucking weird cunt’ one message supplied to Star Observer read.

“It’s very similar to the abuse I got around Safe School,” Ward adds.

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 This news comes at a time when many are celebrating the sheer number of LGBTQI candidates running in this year’s local elections- with some 84 candidates in total. However, as this attack goes to show, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for our community, and that for our fight for acceptance by broader society still continues in the face of adversity.

“I think that Roz and I having both been attacked it’s hard to know how much of its homophobic, but with the rise of the far right growing internationally it gives you a bit of a sense that people are gaining confidence to attack freedom of speech and people who are trying to fight for a better world.” Ali Hogg says.

“In the scheme of things, it seems to be minor, but it does make you fear for what else they might be prepared to do next, when they obviously hold this much hate towards you and your beliefs.

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