Midsumma arrestee promises to return with a megaphone

Melbourne LGBTI rights activist Tony Pitman hasn’t been put off by his recent arrest at the Midsumma Festival.

Pitman was arrested, and later released without charge when he booed at the Liberal Party’s contingent in the Midsumma parade.

Victorian Police said he was asked to leave the area due to threatening behaviour, but the LGBTI rights activist said he was simply protesting against the Liberal party’s inclusion in the parade.

Pittman told OUTinPerth he was incensed about the political party’s inclusion because they’d recently announced that they would remove programs that aim to stop school children being bullied over their sexuality, and the party’s support for the marriage postal vote.

Midsumma said they supported everyone’s right to stage a peaceful protest, so Tony Pitman has decided to put that claim to the test, and has announced his intention to return in 2019.

“I am therefore announcing, with one year’s notice, my intention to boo the Liberal Party contingent at next year’s Midsumma Pride March.” Pitman said in an statement.

“I intend to hire a megaphone and boo the Liberal Party contingent for the entire length of the Pride March, from the beginning to the end. I will walk alongside the Liberal Party marchers and peacefully express my political opinion all the way along Fitzroy Street.” Pitman said.

The LGBTI rights activist said he would inform the orgaisers of the parade, and the police of his intentions ahead of the parade so they would be aware of his actions in advance.  He’s also inviting others to join him in his protest.

There is however one thing he says will persuade him to not protest, he says he’ll back down if the party makes some changes.

“It should be noted that there is one circumstance under which my plan to protest the Liberal Party contingent will not go ahead. That is, if the Liberal Party amends its policies, both at the state and federal level, to unambiguously support LGBT rights and also apologizes for all its past efforts to hinder progress on LGBT rights and all the cruel and damaging statements made by its MPs over the last few decades.” Pitman said.

OIP Staff

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