Shepparton Library cancels Drag Storytime because of protests

Shepparton Library in Victoria cancelled a planned Drag Storytime event after it was targeted by protesters.

The children’s event was scheduled for today, but it was called off after protesters visited the Library on Sunday and staff were forced to lock the facilities doors and call-in police.

Goulburn Valley Libraries chief executive Felicity Macchion told the ABC that the decision was made because it was “deemed too unsafe to hold the event”.

Despite the cancelation of the official event, an unofficial delivery of the story time event went ahead with Victorian drag performer Frock Hudson reading a series of books to the children who had gathered.

While dozens of Rainbow Community Angels turned up to ensure the unofficial event could be held safely, the ABC also captured one lone protester who held up a sign voicing her opposition to men ever wearing clothes that could be considered for women.

Her sign also claimed that children hearing stories read by a drag performer could lead to witchcraft, polyamory and communism.

Victoria Police have confirmed they advised that they had provided the council with safety advice relating to the event.

“Victoria Police was requested to provide intelligence to Greater Shepparton City Council about safety and risks for an event planned at the Goulburn Valley Library,” the statement said.

The Victorian Pride Lobby said it was disappointing that the police were again advising that events should be shut down because of protests from “extremists”.

“Cancelling these events emboldens extremists.” the lobby group said. “It shows them that bullying and intimidation can get them what they want.”

Over the last year Drag Storytime events in several states have been cancelled due to protests. Events in Perth have had to be moved to protect the children attending.

OIP Staff

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