Let’s Boo Next Year

Tony Pitman, booing Liberals at Pride (pic: Michael Barnett)

On Sunday, 28 January, I was unjustly arrested by police at the Midsumma Pride March for simply booing the Liberal Party contingent. I was also threatened with extreme violence by a member of the Midsumma security personnel.

Since then, the organizers of the march have informed me that “Midsumma supports and acknowledges the right for anyone to undertake peaceful protests” during the march. This is particularly ironic given that, when I was arrested, the police specifically told me, “[y]ou can’t protest here.” It seems they were unaware of the Midsumma policy.
I am therefore announcing, with one year’s notice, my intention to boo the Liberal Party contingent at next year’s Midsumma Pride March. More specifically, I intend to hire a megaphone and boo the Liberal Party contingent for the entire length of the Pride March, from the beginning to the end. I will walk alongside the Liberal Party marchers and peacefully express my political opinion all the way along Fitzroy Street.
I will inform the march organizers, the Victoria Police and the media of my intentions several days before the 2019 march. That way, everyone, including Midsumma security personnel, will be well-aware of my intentions and of my right to protest peacefully. I will also ask a friend to video the event, so that, should a “misunderstanding” arise, there will be an audiovisual recording of the incident.
It should be noted that there is one circumstance under which my plan to protest the Liberal Party contingent will not go ahead. That is, if the Liberal Party amends its policies, both at the state and federal level, to unambiguously support LGBT rights and also apologizes for all its past efforts to hinder progress on LGBT rights and all the cruel and damaging statements made by its MPs over the last few decades.
Finally, I’d like to add that anyone who would like to walk with me and peacefully boo the Liberals at Pride March 2019 is most welcome to join in.