A man whose phone was spat at by an academic and Yes23 activist claims he was assaulted by another Voice advocate immediately afterwards.
Andrew Thaler, who describes himself as a community advocate, spoke at a rally against Indigenous Voice at Parliament on Saturday in Hyde Park, central Sydney.
During the event, an electronic billboard displayed the message “No Spitting” in reference to last Sunday’s confrontation at Centenary Park in Cooma, southern New South Wales, between Mr. Thaler and ANU Emeritus Professor Denise Ferris.
He has since claimed he was pushed and hit by another yes voter after the incident.
Andrew Thaler (pictured) claimed he was attacked by another Voice advocate, just moments after being spat at by a Yes23 activist.
“It takes more than a few blows and a spit to bring me down,” Mr Thaler told a crowd of around 1,000 people at the event hosted by New South Wales Liberal Democrat MP John Ruddick.
As Mr. Thaler spoke, a video screen behind him looped the image he had taken of Professor Ferris spitting toward his phone as the two men were locked in a heated confrontation.
The professor was until recently listed as director of the ANU School of Art and Design in Canberra.
Mr Thaler noted with glee that Professor Ferris’ profile had been removed from the ANU website.
“When the ANU has been trending on Twitter for several days because it has been involved with a professor who spits at people, it is not a good idea for the university,” he said to the Daily Mail Australia.
Professor Ferris denied spitting at Mr Thaler that day and in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Thaler said police were currently investigating footage of an alleged assault which occurred immediately after the spitting incident.
Mr Thaler claimed he was assaulted by a man who was in a Yes23 tent, just moments after being spat at by ANU academic and Yes23 activist Professor Denise Ferris (pictured).
Professor Ferris (pictured), who was until recently head of the ANU’s school of art and design in Canberra, has denied spitting at Mr Thaler, after the two men indulged to a violent verbal altercation at an event in Cooma, southern New South Wales. east Sunday
“A man in the Yes tent started pushing and ramming me,” Mr. Thaler said.
“He started hitting me hard, took the phone out of my hands several times. There were many witnesses.
Mr Thaler said police had asked him not to show footage of the incident until they had completed their investigation.
He said that if police did not charge the man, he would “do it himself” as a “mere informant”.
Speaking about last Sunday’s incident, Mr. Thaler said he had gone to the Yes Labor party tent to take a photo of lambs at a petting zoo.
“I was just taking a photo of the lambs,” Mr. Thalers said.
“They used this to attract children and bring parents with them.
“It was an inexpensive operation, but the little lambs were in the sun all day.”
In the video, Mr. Thaler can be heard calling Professor Ferris a “stupid mole.”
Professor Ferris claimed the argument had nothing to do with The Voice and that she felt approached by Mr Thaler which caused her to react in a state of “fight or flight” panic.
Professor Ferris (pictured) said she felt she was being confronted aggressively by Mr Thaler, which caused her to react in a state of “fight or flight” panic.
Mr Thaler claimed the confrontation was sparked by their divergent views on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which will be voted on in a referendum on October 14.
“She was wearing a Yes t-shirt, she had a Yes badge on her hat, she was in the Yes tent, she came and gave us a hard time from the Yes tent and returned to the Yes tent,” he said. -he declares. .
Professor Ferris said she was simply trying to “block” Mr Thaler’s camera “without engaging in physical contact”.
She said she “felt intimidated” throughout the heated ordeal because Mr. Thaler held the camera “like a gun pointed at me.”
“Out of the blue, Andrew Thaler walked up to me filming me with his iPhone extended,” she wrote.
Professor Ferris (pictured), who denied spitting at Mr Thaler, said the heated verbal exchange between the two men was not about the Voice to Parliament.
“I was beyond terrified, he was literally in my face, I had a visceral response, a panic attack, fight or flight,” Professor Ferris said.
“I didn’t spit on him. I wanted to block his camera without initiating physical contact. Flight? Should I turn my back on him – no way, I’m too afraid of his actions, it was so traumatic.
The professor, who holds an unpaid position at the ANU, also accused Mr Thaler of heavily editing the video and setting “a trap” for him because he was a “full-time professional provocateur”.
An ANU spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia they were “investigating and will take appropriate action if necessary”.
“This video has just been brought to the attention of the university. Emeritus professors are not paid staff members,” the spokesperson said.
The professor’s online profile was removed from the university’s website on Thursday.
Mr. Thaler is no stranger to controversy.
He was branded a “parasite” by 2GB presenter Ben Fordham after claiming to speak on behalf of the family whose grandmother, Clare Nowland, 95, was fatally shot by a Taser at a care home in Cooma on May 17.