Wild scenes as anti-trans protesters storm a council meeting and demand councilors stop a planned drag queen storytime event at a local library
- Tensions ran high during the council meeting
- Protesters expressed concern over the story time event
- Monash Council says the popular event will continue
A council meeting has descended into chaos because of an upcoming library event featuring storytelling for babies and toddlers.
Protesters stormed Monash Council chambers in Melbourne’s south-east on Wednesday evening in a desperate bid to prevent the sold-out event featuring drag queen performer Sam T at Oakleigh Library from going ahead.
Tensions ran high as protesters shouted swear words at pro-drag and supporters of the LGBTIQA+ community, smashed glass walls and shouted “shame on you” at councillors.
Many protesters held signs as they labeled councilors as ‘paedophiles’ and called for their resignation.
Mayor Tina Samardzija had to briefly interrupt the meeting an hour later because of the commotion in the public gallery, where young children were also present.
Anti-trans protesters stormed a Monash Council meeting on Wednesday night, causing chaos
Police were deployed to the scene and at one point were forced to deploy separate protesters and pro-drag and LGBTIQA+ supporters.
Two council members were given police escort from the building.
No arrests were made that night.
Before the meeting, Councilman Josh Fergeus begged supporters of the event to stay away and not get into trouble
“I can’t say this strongly enough: If you want to support Drag Storytime, DO NOT come to the council meeting tonight. You increase the risk of violence and disruption. Please stay away, stay safe and at home.”
cr. Fergus has since thanked Monash council and library staff for their steadfastness against the resistance and threats of violence and abuse.
Oakleigh Library is hosting drag story hour for children ages 1-6 on May 19 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Police were called to the council chamber after the meeting descended into chaos
LGBTIQA+ community supporters attended a united show of support for Monash Council despite pleas to stay home
The one-hour event hosted by drag queen performer Sam B as a special guest has been hailed as a morning of stories and songs to inspire while spreading a message of equality and appreciation for diversity.
The event sold out nearly two months in advance, despite widespread community outcry and an online petition calling for the event to be cancelled.
“We feel like we’re not being heard… we’ve been inundating them with emails, phone calls, we’re all getting the same responses,” one protester told 3AW broadcaster Neil Mitchell on Thursday.
Australian basketball legend Andrew Bogut was among those who weighed in on the recent outcry over the event.
Monash Council insists the event continues and was proud to join other councils across Australia who have held similarly successful events.
“It’s a way of challenging the idea that we should all look, act and behave in a certain way. It is about accepting and respecting differences by using fantasy, playing, dressing up and reading stories,” said Cr Samardzija
“We understand this isn’t for everyone and have scheduled it outside of our regular library programs so that parents who bring their children have made a conscious choice to attend.
“Obviously there are parents in our community who want this event because it gets booked up very quickly.
“It’s disappointing to hear negative comments and accusations from some people about an event that promotes inclusion.”
A children’s storytelling event featuring drag queen performer Sam T (pictured) continues next month at Oakleigh Library