Confusion over ‘Save Safe Schools’ rally

Save Safe Schools WA accuse members of Equal Love WA of hijacking their event

Concern raised over influence of the Socialist Alternative

Far right group asks supporters to “muscle up” and attend counter-protest

Save Safe Schools

The coalition of individuals and organisations leading tomorrow’s ‘Save Safe Schools’ protest appears to have fractured just 24 hours before the rally to support the embattled anti-bullying program.

Marriage Equality group Equal Love have allegedly taken over the rally that was planned in conjunction with the Save Safe Schools campaign and removed the co-presenting group from the rally’s social media event page.

Yesterday far-right group Reclaim Australia Perth announced that it would be holding a counter-protest against the movement.

A notice was posted on the Facebook group for the original rally highlighting the opposition from Reclaim Australia.

The post said that the rally was being crashed by “fascists” attempting to spread “neo-nazi” messages of racism, homophobia, transphobia and bigotry. The post stated that Reclaim Australia had previously tried to overtake a demonstration focusing on refugees.

The post announced that the rally start time would be moved forward half an hour to 12:30pm and encouraged supporters to stand up to the far right group.

Save Safe Schools WA, the grass roots group behind the protest action released a statement accusing members of Equal Love, who are also simultaneously members of political group The Socialist Alternative, of hijacking the event.

“We wish to stress that these changes were not made by members of the Save Safe Schools Collective and is not in line with how we wish the rally to proceed.” the statement said.

Save Safe Schools WA said they were alarmed that individual members of Equal Love WA had removed them from the Facebook event page promoting the rally.

“They are trying to hijack tomorrow’s rally and turn it into a confrontation with Reclaim Australia.” the statement said.

“Tomorrow’s rally is organised by Save Safe Schools WA – the broad coalition of affected high school students, parents, P&C members and other concerned individuals.

“We intend to proceed with our rally as planned. We do not endorse Socialist Alternative’s actions. We intend to hold a peaceful rally to defend the safe schools coalition. We ask everyone who was planning on coming along tomorrow to still attend. We need maximum numbers to ensure the rally stays on track and sends a loud message to the government that we need safe schools!

The spat between the different groups has had an impact on support for the rally.

Community group Transmen of WA have withdrawn their involvement in the event citing the disintegration of the non-partisan approach. The group stressed however that they still support the work of the Safe Schools Coalition.

Last year concern was raised when it was revealed that Equal Love had transferred money donated to their marriage equality campaign to other political campaigns that the groups organisers were involved in.

The conveners of Equal Love were contacted for comment but did not respond to OUTinPerth.

Far Right Groups outline their objection to the program

On the Reclaim Australia Facebook page for the counter-protest a video from far-right splinter group The United Patriots Front has been posted.

In the video an unidentified man said the counter-protest is aimed at political group the Socialist Alliance and outlined the opposition to Safe Schools program that aims to reduce bullying of LGBTIQ+ students.

While the United Patriots said they were acting against the Socialist Alliance, this is a different organisation to the Socialist Alternative who have been accused of hijacking the event.

“It’s a terrible thing, that’s teaching kids all sorts of dangerous ideas. it’s pushing a Marxist gendered engineered agenda on to children, putting ideas into their head.” the UPF member said in the video.

The man called on supporters of the United Patriots front to “muscle up” and join the counter protest.

WA Police have said that they are aware of the announcement of the counter protest and will be monitoring the situation.

OIP Staff





Tags: , , , ,