Confrontational protests over Safe Schools at Brisbane Church

Students in Brisbane have clashed with people hoping to attend an anti-Safe Schools seminar at a Catholic Church.

The seminar titled Safe Schools: Education or Social Engineering? was being presented by the Knights of the Southern Cross, a fraternal order of the Catholic Church.

In its promotion of the event St Michael’s church in Dorrington claimed that the anti-bulling program teaches gender fluidity, encouraging boys to feel like they are girls, and girls to feel like they are boys. The church said that parents should be concerned about schools being inclusive of transgender students.

The seminar was originally publicised as featuring Wendy Francis, the Queensland Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, but its understood she cancelled her appearance a few days ago due to the launch of the protest action.

A protest of the event was organised by the National Union of Students was described as a  protest/ dance party/ street festival/ glitter fest, but reports suggest it quickly deteriorated into a aggressive altercations between the protesters and parishioners attempting to enter the church.

Channel Nine have reported that the protesters attempted to stop cars from entering the church, and that some cars forced their way through the crowd.

Jessica Payne, who was injured at the scene, said the crowd was aggressive and “extremely violent”.

“I suffered an injury because people drove their cars nearly at full speed into the yes campaigners here today,” she told Nine’s Today.

The protest comes as the government’s plan to hold a national postal survey on marriage equality got the green light from the High Court. The highest legal court in the land dismissed to actions that had sought to stop the survey.

Queensland MP Peter Dutton has been critical of protesters telling the Today show it was not an example of how a respectful debate should be conducted. Labor’s Anthony Albanese has commented on the event saying violent altercations do nothing to help either side of the marriage debate.

Yesterday the National Union of Students announced a Nation Day of Action against calling on Australian’s to vote YES in the government’s postal survey on marriage.

The National Union of Students LGBTI Department called on students to attend rallies around the country on Wednesday September 13 as part of a national Student Day of Action.

Chris di Pasquale, the National LGBTI Officer from the union said the main opponent of marriage equality in Australia was Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“Let’s be clear: Malcolm Turnbull is the main person standing in the way of marriage equality,” di Pasquale said. “He forced this postal vote on us as a way of placating the far-right in his party who are propping up his leadership. But this has backfired on Turnbull spectacularly. His popularity is diminishing and the biggest movement for LGBTIQ+ rights has been unleashed.”

“Two thirds of the population consistently support marriage equality in opinion poll after opinion poll and that number goes up to 81 per cent when we’re dealing with young people between 18 and 24 years old.”

“We are winning this campaign—Turnbull knows it, the homophobes in his party know it, the conservatives peddling the ‘no’ campaign know it. This is why they’ll do anything they can to delay the question.” Di Pasquale said.

“But after some of the biggest rallies for marriage equality this country has ever seen, including one of over 20,000 people in Melbourne on August 26, these right-wing cretins know they can never put the genie back in the bottle. They know that we won’t stop fighting until we win our basic civil rights.”

OIP Staff


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