Drag Event In Melbourne Postponed After Threats Of Protest From Neo-Nazis
A drag event scheduled to be held at the Victorian Pride Centre on Thursday was postponed following threats of protest from suspected Neo-Nazi and Proud Boys members.
“In accordance with advice received from Victorian Police, Council, Minus 18 and The Victorian Pride Centre have made the difficult decision to postpone tonight’s Glitter Nova event at the Victorian Pride Centre. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and confirm that the event will be postponed to a later date which we will advise shortly,” Stonnington Youth Services, the organiser of the event, said in a post on social media.
A Victoria Police spokesperson confirmed that the event had been postponed. “Victoria Police are aware a planned community event on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda has today been postponed,” the spokesperson told Star Observer in a statement.”Police will continue to run proactive patrols of the area to deter any anti-social behaviour and work with partner agencies to ensure the safety of all community members for future events.”
Drag Event For Young People Targeted
City of Stonnington’s Youth Services had organised Glitter Nova, at the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda, Australia’s first LGBTQI community hub. The event for young people aged 12 to 25, was to feature drag workshops and performances by drag performers including Alexander McKween, Belial B’Zarr and Randy Roy.
A day before the event, messages surfaced on Telegram channels XYZ News, Turning Point Australia and Australian Meditations Nationalist Yarn chat, run by suspected National Socialist Network members. The posts spoke about a protest being planned at the event by a group calling itself ‘People Against Pedos’.
The organisers said they became aware of the planned protests and decided that “in order to maintain our commitment to safe and inclusive events we feel our only option is to postpone the event in order for us to ensure the safety of our attendees.”
‘We Won’t Be Bullied’
The organisers insisted that the postponement of the event did not validate the planned protests. “Our decision to postpone the event in no way legitimises the statements made by the protest groups. We fully support our LGBTIQA+ community and are committed to a culture of child safety.”
LGBTQI and anti-fascist community groups had said they would form a “protective presence” outside the Pride Centre to ensure that the event would go off without a hitch. The groups said they would still turn up at the Pride Centre to ensure any attendees who might not have gotten the postponement message in time and turned up are not harassed by the neo-Nazi protesters.
“We are frustrated that the Council has given these homophobes twin. But that can’t be changed and the kids are the focus as it should be”.
“We won’t be bullied into submission so easily. We ask people to commit to turning up and deny the fascists a photo opportunity, and let them know that we won’t be pushed over,” a message that was circulated on social media said.
On September 30, members of the National Socialist Network, founded by Australian neo-Nazi Thomas Sewell, similarly targeted a family-friendly youth festival to celebrate the end of school holidays in the inner Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds. The Neo-Nazis shouted homophobic and transphobic slogans and performed offensive Hitler salutes, which led to the performances at the event being cut short.