Canberra, March 24 (IANS) Australian police have launched a probe into the manhandling of Indigenous Senator Lidia Thorpe who was allegedly thrown to the ground at a protest outside Parliament in Canberra, the media reported on Friday.
British activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, who describes herself as a women’s rights activist, but is also widely known for her opposition to transgender rights, was holding a “Let Women Speak” rally attended by a small number of supporters, the BBC reported.
It had attracted a larger counter-protest by pro-LGBT activists.
As she spoke, Thorpe was seen approaching the microphone area shouting “you’re not welcome here” before being pushed back by a man in a suit, and then apparently pulled to the ground by police.
Police attempted to get her back on her feet but the Senator shouted “let me go”, before breaking free and crawling away across the wet grass, and then standing up and walking off.
Addressing reporters after the incident, Thorpe said that “we do not tolerate this kind of filth being on Ngunnawal-Ngarigo country”, referring to Keen-Minshull’s group’s presence on Aboriginal land.
“They are racist. They are homophobic. They are destroying people’s lives. This country should be ashamed that they even let people like this into this country,” the BBC quoted the Senator as saying
Thorpe later told the Guardian she had been “pulverised” by police.
In a statement, the police said “interactions” between the police and protesters at the event would be reviewed.