Via the Guardian
About 100 protesters blocked the entrance to the Catch the Fire evangelical ministries in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam on Saturday morning, where the controversial World Congress of Families conference was scheduled to begin. Many speakers, including the American campaigner Angela Lanfranchi, who planned to speak on the thoroughly debunked link between breast cancer and abortion, were unable to get through the gates in their cars. Their path was blocked by protesters holding signs with slogans such as “Our bodies are our property” and “Women are not incubators”. More than 30 police officers formed their own barrier on the opposite side of the gate in the quiet street of Star Crescent, located in an industrial area. It forced attendees to trickle through the gates one by one as church security struggled to establish whether they had registered. The Monty Python satirical song Every Sperm is Sacred boomed from a sound system organised by protesters. The protests were vocal, but largely peaceful. Two protesters were arrested as others chanted “What’s the charge?”
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One protester managed to sneak in as a registered guest, storming the stage and pouring fake blood over herself in front of NSW MP, the Reverend Fred Nile and his wife. "We don't want your backyard abortions," she yelled, before being marched out. Guests at the event were visibly rattled by the breach and turned to prayer as the woman was ushered outside. But despite ongoing protests at the gate throughout the day, the rest of the conference was incident free. Controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lafranchi was one of the headline acts, pushing her research suggesting a link between abortion and breast cancer. Reverend Nile, leader of the NSW Christian Democrats, called for more Christians to get involved in politics. And Paul Hanrahan, the executive director of Family Life International Australia, used his speech to suggest abortion was worse than terrorism in Syria. "Many people lately have been upset at the terrible atrocities being committed in the name of religion in Iraq and Syria and other places. Terrorists and terrorists' kids holding severed heads is certainly gruesome. Answer me this: how is it worse?" he asked.
A slideshow of today's protest is here
Rev. Nile made international headlines in 2010 when it was revealed that his state parliament computer had been used to view a huge amount
of porn. One of Australia's most vile anti-gay activists, Nile has called for abolishing Sydney Mardi Gras because it's a "public parade of immorality and blasphemy."
Labels: abortion rights, activism, Australia, C-FAM, Fred Nile, hate groups, LGBT rights, Liberty Counsel, marriage equality, NOM, protests, religion, Sydney, World Congress Of Families