Wellington mayor says Kellie-Jay Keen will get the same reception

Tory Whanau, the Mayor of Wellington, says British anti-transgender campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen should expect to receive a similar response in her city, to what she encountered in Auckland this morning, should she proceed with her planned event in the New Zealand capital.

Speaking to local publication Stuffthe mayor said she was encouraging people to counter protest the appearance of Kellie-Jay Keen and her ‘Let Women Speak’ open mike event.

“What we’re seeing in Auckland is likely to happen again in Wellington,” she said. “[Parker] is likely to receive the same response from a community who are very protective of the trans community.

“It would be great if the community really show visibly that they are allies, and that they care about our trans and rainbow whānau.” The Māori word whānau is a concept of extended family.

Kellie-Jay Keen, who just completed a seven-city tour of Australia, was unable to hold her planned event in Auckland after she was pelted with tomato soup and protesters crashed over barriers surrounding her small ground of supporters. The large crowds disrupted the event before it could begin.

She was escorted out of Auckland’s Albert Park by her private security before being taken to a nearby police station for her own safety.

Media outlets have estimated over 2,000 people turned up to counter protest Keen’s event. Earlier in the day Destiny Church, a religious group, had held another protest nearby voicing support for restricting the rights of transgender people.

Whanau had expressed her concern about Parker’s upcoming visit when speaking to the media a few days ago.

“In Wellington we proudly celebrate diversity and inclusion, and I am worried about people being so open about hating part of our community.” she said, adding that as mayor she would always back transgender people.

The City of Wellington have said they will work with police to ensure safety should Keen’s event go ahead tomorrow. At this stage Keen has not announced if she’ll be continuing with her New Zealand tour.

OIP Staff

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