Heated moment pro-choice protester is dragged away by cops after interrupting an anti-abortion rally: ‘This is not America’
- Woman taken away shouted ‘we will not let this happen’
- Police warned about repeat of violence seen this week
A woman protesting against an anti-abortion march in Sydney has been arrested by police who warned about a repeat of violence outside a Mark Latham event.
Footage of the tense moment shows two police officers lead her away as she shouts: ‘This is not America, we will not let this happen’.
The woman can be heard asking why she was being singled out when she had done nothing wrong as officers wrestled with her outside St Mary’s Cathedral.
‘This should not be happening in 2023 … I came along here today to have my say about what happens to my body,’ she said.
‘I was approached by multiple men surrounding me, accusing me of doing the wrong thing by being here today.’
A woman (pictured) protesting against an anti-abortion march in Sydney has been removed by police who warned about a repeat of violence outside a Mark Latham speaking engagement
The woman said she was protesting ‘to speak for every woman that does not have control over her body. This is what happens to women in Australia.’
An organiser of the Day of the Unborn Child rally, Paul Hanrahan, called for calm on Thursday after police expressed concern in light of clashes between rainbow rights activists and counter-protesters outside the church One Nation NSW leader Mr Latham was due to speak at in Belfield.
‘They have assured us the security of our group and our right to hold our event is their primary concern, and they will do everything in their power to ensure that,’ Mr Hanrahan said via Facebook.
‘We are not there to engage with any protesters but to carry our cross.’
Participants are pictured on a Catholic Church rally from St Mary’s Cathedral to the New South Wales Parliament House on March 26, 2023 in Sydney, Australia
The University of Sydney Women’s Collective said on Saturday evening it had cancelled plans to counter Sunday’s Day of the Unborn Child march.
‘This decision has not been made lightly … as we believe it is the right thing to do for the safety of our collective and the ability for us to grow the movement against these far-right groups so that in future we can come out stronger,’ it said on Facebook.
‘On Tuesday night, 15 members of Community Action For Rainbow Rights were violently attacked by members of the Christian Lives Matter movement in Belfield.
‘This was a horrific attack that was politically not religiously motivated and we extend our deepest solidarity to the members … who were there.’
The annual ‘Day of the Unborn Child’ service and rally (pictured) is led by the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher in conjunction with the Life & Family Institute of Sydney
The collective said it was ‘extremely hesitant’ to call off its action because it didn’t want to ’embolden the hateful recklessness of the anti-abortion, queer-phobic right’.
There will be an open Sydney meeting of a rainbow coalition on Thursday at a location to be determined.
According to its website, Christian group the Life and Family Institute helps organise the march from St Mary’s Cathedral on March 26 each year as ‘a prayerful and peaceful witness to the sanctity of human life’.
The Catholic Weekly said the procession, accompanied by a mass, has been held annually for close to 20 years – except for 2020 due to Covid-19 lockdowns and 2021 due to wild weather.