MP calls for urgent action following attack on Avi Yemini outside parliament

Victorian MP David Southwick voices alarm over security issues arising from ongoing anti-Israel protests outside parliament after Rebel News footage captured violent Palestinian protesters attacking a journalist.

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Deputy Victorian Liberal Leader David Southwick has expressed serious safety concerns at the Victorian State Parliament amid ongoing anti-Israel protests.

He has drawn attention to a recent video by Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini, revealing disturbing incidents of violence by the protesters.

Southwick has taken action by writing to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the President of the Legislative Council, urging them to address the situation. Parliament has the authority to regulate who can access parliamentary grounds and enforce those rules if required.

The Rebel News footage captured shocking behaviour by anti-Israel protesters, including Mohammed Sharab, who is currently out on bail for alleged involvement in a violent abduction and assault.

Southwick highlighted the incidents where Avi and a security guard were threatened, including one where a glass bottle was hurled at them.

“There is no place for intimidation and violence by these protestors. I have asked on the Parliament of Victoria and Premier to refer the matter to Police and expel those responsible from the parliament precinct” he said.

Concerns were raised about the protesters congregating at the top of the steps, causing intimidation and discomfort for visitors, particularly those from the Jewish community.

Southwick shared accounts of cancelled tours by Jewish schools and organisations due to safety concerns.

He also cited an email from the Serjeant-at-Arms of the Legislative Assembly, indicating the potential closure of the parliament's front doors due to safety considerations.

While affirming the right to peaceful protest, Southwick stressed that the parliament should not continually accommodate violent demonstrators who disregard safety.

He also condemned the violence, calling for police intervention and expulsion of those responsible from the parliamentary precinct.

Southwick further called out the Labor government, slamming its censorship after being denied leave to move a motion regarding anti-Israel demonstrators' actions.

He accused the government of tolerating hate and compromising safety by its refusal.

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