The next protest against One Nation MP Mark Latham’s anti-LGBTQI bills is scheduled for June 5, at the Town Hall in Sydney.
The protests against the bills are building momentum, with a steady amount of pressure being applied by April Holcombe, co-convenor of Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) and the CARR group itself, against the worrying procession of the LGBTQI rights eroding bills.
Holcombe successfully disrupted the start of a two-day hearing at the NSW Parliament on the morning of the 20th April, standing up and demanding to be heard, ignoring an isolated shout of “sit down” from an attendee of the hearing and finishing their piece, as reported by the Star Observer at the time,
“How dare you sit there and try to oversee the rolling back of our rights, rolling them back by decades, trying to attack the most vulnerable people in our society,” Holcombe stood up and called out to Latham.
“Transgender young people have already got it tough enough.”
“[Mark Latham] is nothing but a thug and a bigot [who only] represents a tiny minority of bigots in this society. The vast majority of people want our schools to be inclusive spaces,” Holcombe said.
“[They] don’t want teachers to have to turn around and worry about their own jobs, their own livelihoods, because of the bills you are trying to pass, with the support of the Liberal Party, in this parliament.”
Chanting protestors in NSW Parliament House
She then began leading a group of protesters that had legally accessed the NSW Parliament House with her that morning with chants of “When trans rights are under attack, what do we do?” at which point, the other activists rose up out of their seats to respond, “Stand up, fight back.”
This chanting went on for an impressive amount of time before the protestors were then lead peacefully out of Parliament House, with Holcombe offering up some final thoughts to the committee on what these bills mean for our community before shew left.
A successful protest
As far as Holcombe and the protestors are concerned, it was mission accomplished, assisted by the momentum created by a successful protest a few days before, with around 500 protestors coming out to show their support for the movement.
“We wanted to work off the momentum of Saturday and keep the pressure up. We aimed to disrupt the proceedings. So, as soon as Latham began the hearing, I stood up and denounced him. About a dozen other protesters who came with me, all stood up and chanted until he was forced to leave the room. I think we made our point clear.”
As explained in a blog post by Paul Gregorie for Sydney Criminal Lawyers about Latham’s Anti-trans kids bill, who also interviewed Holcombe about the disruption of the hearing,
“On the ground, what these laws would mean is that youths struggling with questions concerning their gender identity who approached a teacher or a guidance counsellor for help would be met with a blank expression.”
“How dare you… attack the most vulnerable people in our society, transgender young people, who have already got it tough enough”. #sydneycriminallawyers #latham #transgender #aprilholcombehttps://t.co/fBCY60K9V9
— SydneyCriminalLawyer (@sydcrimlawyers) April 28, 2021
“And if they weren’t offering a blank expression and actually decided to assist the youth asking these difficult questions, that teacher or guidance counsellor could face sacking from their position and stripping of their qualifications, denying them the ability to make a living helping and educating children.”
CARR is hoping to keep this swell of community support building with another protest against Latham’s Anti-LGBTQI bills (he currently has two seperate but equally dangerous bills for the LGBTQI community on the go) coming up at Town Hall in Sydney on the 5th June @ 1pm.