Liberal senator Claire Chandler said she was due to attend Keen-Minshull’s rally this week but pulled out due to safety fears.
Babet, who was close by when the incident unfolded, said Thorpe “is a valued member of the crossbench and she has the right to have her voice heard”.
“She was after all elected by the people of Victoria to represent them,” he said, but declined to comment on the actions of police given the incident was under review.
However, a spokesperson for Hanson said it was the senator’s observation that Thorpe deliberately went to ground, “a common protest tactic”.
Keen-Minshull denied associating with neo-Nazis and criticised those men who attended and performed the Hitler salute outside Victoria’s state parliament. They prompted fierce condemnation in federal parliament this week, and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton attempted to ban Nazi symbols in a private member’s bill on Wednesday.
The attempt was shut down by the government, which is already considering a ban on Nazi symbols.
Thorpe was tackled by a security guard and a police officer as she strode towards Keen-Minshull. The guard blocked her passage while the officer is seen to grab the Senator and forcefully pulled her backwards.
Footage shot by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age also appears to show one of Keen-Minshull’s supporters, wearing a red “Let Women Speak” vest, grabbing and pulling Thorpe just before the senator fell heavily to the ground. Comment has been sought via Keen-Minshull’s website.
Thorpe then crawled out of the fray and joined a large counter-protest of trans-rights activists.
After the incident, Thorpe said she was “pulverised by the police for simply telling that person that they are not allowed to be here”.
“We do not tolerate this kind of filth being on Ngunnawal and Ngambri country, let alone, the Nazi support that these people have,” she said.
“They are racist, they are homophobic, they are destroying people’s lives and this country should be ashamed that they even let people like this into this country.
“So I’ve been assaulted by the police today as a sovereign Gunnai Gunditjmara DjabWurrung woman and the police need to answer for the assault, but also this government needs to answer why these people are allowed into this country.”
Thorpe said she needed to seek medical attention and returned to Parliament House. A large contingent of police officers kept both protests separated.
Independent Wentworth MP Allegra Spender said the “anti-trans protests seem designed to generate outrage and violence, and pull our community apart”.
“I was very concerned to see videos of Senator Thorpe being pulled to the ground by the police and this should absolutely be investigated by the AFP,” she said.
The AFP released a statement saying “the interactions between the AFP and protesters will be reviewed, and an incident has been referred to the AFP’s Professional Standards Command”.
Keen-Minchull later published a mocking tweet, using video of Thorpe published at the event, saying, “You didn’t have to kneel, I’m not royalty”.
Later, Thorpe released a statement criticising the high-profile announcement on the wording of the Indigenous Voice to parliament referendum, which occurred minutes before the protest.
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