Youth event at Pride Centre axed after neo-Nazi protest threats

Victorian Pride Centre and Melbourne Neo-Nazi protest (inset)
Images: John Gollings/Victorian Pride Centre, Twitter (inset)

A Melbourne youth service’s end-of-year celebration at the city’s Pride Centre was cancelled just hours before following vile threats from online neo-Nazi and anti-LGBTIQ+ groups.

Glitter Nova, a LGBTIQ+ youth event by Stonnington Youth Services, was set for Thursday evening at St Kilda’s Pride Centre (pictured above).

The event was promoted as a free youth celebration of “diversity, inclusion, having fun and connection to like-minded folks.”

Glitter Nova was to feature drag shows, garment-making workshops, as well as comedy and music for young people aged 12-25.

However just hours before the event, Stonnington Youth Services postponed it. They said they were aware anti-LGBTIQ protesters wanted to disrupt the event, and had received police advice.

“We have recently become aware of a planned protest at Glitter Nova this evening,” a spokesperson said.

“In order to maintain our commitment to creating safe and inclusive events, we felt the wisest and most prudent course of action was to postpone the event in order for us to ensure the safety of our attendees.

“We were looking forward to this event, and understand that many young people were looking forward to it also.

“The decision to postpone has not been taken lightly. The safety of our community is paramount.”

Victoria Police advised event to postpone

Stonnington Youth Services made the decision after “advice received from Victorian Police, Council, Minus18 and also the Victorian Pride Centre.”

“Our decision to postpone the event in no way legitimises the statements made by the protest groups,” the spokesperson said.

“Our primary focus is on the safety of young people and their right to be able to gather connect and celebrate in a welcoming and inclusive environment.”

The spokesperson said the organisation will update when they set a new date for the event.

“Glitter Nova was designed in collaboration with the Stonnington Expressions youth committee and our partners to be a safe, fun, joyful event for young people to connect and celebrate with their community.

“Creating safe and affirming spaces for young people is more important than ever.

“As such, we understand and acknowledge the disappointment that will be felt by the young people who planned to attend, the performers, and our partners.”

Melbourne youth festival in park earlier disrupted by neo-Nazis

In October, a group of a dozen neo-Nazis disrupted a family-friendly youth festival in inner Melbourne in October.

The group of around a dozen protesters disrupted the event with vile slurs and Hitler salutes.

The protesters held up banners targeting a Melbourne drag performer at the festival in a Moonee Ponds park.

At the time a local councillor slammed the “hateful” display. A Jewish group also warned of a rise in “extremist” anti-Semitic behaviour in Melbourne.

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