UK women's rights activist Kellie-Jay Keen organised a women's rights rally outside the Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, to give women a platform to discuss their issues, but the event turned chaotic when it was hijacked by anti-fascist protesters and Neo-Nazis.
Since then, some politicians and mainstream media outlets have taken the opportunity to smear the event and its organisers as racists and extremists using false allegations from Wikipedia to tie the women's rights activists to the Neo-Nazi group.
Keen said she noticed the group doing the Nazi salute while a woman was speaking, but refused to let them set her agenda. Keen criticised the political class and mainstream media for linking the Neo-Nazis to the women's rights activists and planning to expel one of their members, Liberal MP Moira Deeming, simply for attending.
Keen called for the media to focus on the women's speeches instead of the counter-protesters' actions.
The event was a platform for women to discuss issues related to women's rights, including children's safeguarding, but it was marred by counter-protesters.
Keen said the women involved in the rally were not consulted by the Liberal Party or the media. She said that she did not agree with the Neo-Nazis' views and that "nobody in their right mind would".
"I have no idea what they have to say, but what they have to say about anything related to actual Nazism. Nobody agrees. No right minded, decent human, including myself, agrees with any of it," she said.
The rally was meant to provide a forum for women to discuss their issues openly in the public square, but it turned chaotic when two extremist groups showed up. On one side were self-proclaimed anti-fascists, and on the other side were about 20 well-known Neo-Nazis.
Keen said she was irritated that the Neo-Nazis, who at first she thought were Antifa's "black bloc", had successfully co-opted the women's talks, and she did not want to be distracted by a group of men when discussing women's rights. Keen called for the media to give the women's speeches the attention they deserved.
The women at the rally spoke about issues related to women's rights, such as children's safeguarding, but the event was marred by the actions of counter-protesters.