Melbourne LGBTIQ activist Tony Pitman has said he plans to boo the Liberal Party’s contingent at the Midsumma Pride March next month and has called on others to join him.
At last year’s march in Melbourne, Pitman (pictured) was detained by Victoria Police for protesting the Liberal party and shouting “You’re not welcome here,” but was later released without charge.
Police alleged at the time that the activist’s behaviour was threatening the safety of others and “in breach of the peace”.
But Midsumma later apologised to Pitman for the incident, and said they supported peaceful protests at the event.
Now, Pitman has announced he plans to return to the march with a megaphone to again boo the Liberal Party contingent on the entire length of this year’s march on February 3.
In a YouTube video, Pitman outlined his reasons for booing the party, and published a list of 22 instances of the Liberal Party obstructing LGBTIQ rights over the past 30 years.
“I just want the Liberal Party to understand that, after everything they’ve done against LGBTI people for so many years, not everyone in the community welcomes them to Pride,” he said.
Pitman set up a Facebook page entitled “Boo the Liberals”, encouraging people join his protest at this year’s Midsumma Pride March through St Kilda on February 3.
‘Active support for peaceful protests’
Last year, Victoria Police alleged that Pitman’s behaviour had been threatening to others’ safety and “in breach of the peace”.
“Victoria Police respects people’s right to protest peacefully, but will not tolerate those who break the law,” a spokesperson said at the time.
Midsumma said last year the organisation “actively supports and acknowledges the right for anyone to undertake peaceful protests.”
“We ensure our values are clearly communicated thorough briefing sessions with security staff and police representatives prior to all of our events.”
The Midsumma Festival’s Carnival attracted tens of thousands of attendees last weekend, and the festival will run until February 10.