The violence against ‘no’ campaigners has to stop, the Coalition for Marriage said today.
The call for an end to the harassment follows a brutal physical attack in Victoria on Friday afternoon, in which a ‘no’ campaigner sustained injuries from the alleged assault.
The attack occurred on a busy intersection while the alleged victim was holding up an ‘it’s ok to say no’ sign.
“Our campaigners are being attacked on a daily basis,” Coalition for Marriage spokesman, Lyle Shelton said.
“They experience serious verbal and racial abuse whilst out on campaign activity, and today’s incident shows that the attacks are escalating.
“The violence has to stop. And it has to stop now,” he said.
The alleged victim, James, whose last name is being withheld for security reasons, said that the man approached him and tried to take the sign he was holding.
“I had the phone in my right hand, the sign in my left. I didn’t want to let go of either, so I left my body exposed. He punched me, and twisted my arm until I let go of the sign.
“Yes, I could have let him have the sign or I could have run away. But I shouldn’t have to. My goal was to tell people that it is okay to say ‘no.’ If that’s really true, then I should have been allowed to stand my ground,” James said.
Despite this, James is still encouraging people to volunteer.
“I’ll be back out campaigning this weekend, and I invite others who want to show their support to come and join in.
“We can’t reward this type of behaviour by giving in or being silent,” he said.
The matter has been reported to the Police and the Coalition for Marriage understands a man is assisting them with their enquiries.
The video has been posted to our facebook page. A copy of the video is available on request.