Clashes erupted between pro-trans rights supporters and participants of a “women’s rights” demonstration in Melbourne on Saturday, 23 March, amidst allegations of neo-Nazi participation.

Approximately 100 individuals attended a rally dubbed #WomenWillSpeak, organised by the Women’s Action Group. The group, established by women from Victoria’s regional and rural areas in 2019, primarily opposes gender self-identification in the Victorian Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act.

The event sparked controversy as counter-protesters advocating for transgender rights confronted the rally. The confrontation escalated into violence, with police intervening and using pepper spray after tackling at least two individuals to the ground, reports from Daily Mail Australia indicate.


Social media posts, including videos on X, highlighted a distressing scene where a man, identified with the “women’s rights” movement, was seen aggressively attacking two trans rights activists, employing a camera tripod as a weapon at one point.

Allegations surfaced on social media suggesting the presence of a neo-Nazi-affiliated YouTuber at the rally, with claims of him serving as security. He was reported to have worn a shirt with the message “XX REAL WOMAN” on the front and “RWDS” (an acronym for right-wing death squad) on the back, alongside displaying a sonnenrad tattoo.

Concerns were raised about the initial speaker at the Women’s Action Group’s rally, identified by some as a neo-Nazi. This individual was reportedly introduced by the organisers and was seen wearing a shirt with a symbol recognised by the Anti-Defamation League as a neo-Nazi icon.

The Women’s Action Group has previously faced criticism for controversial remarks made at an earlier event in Ballarat, Victoria, where a participant expressed disdain towards transgender individuals undergoing sex-change operations.

Victoria Police expressed disappointment over the incidents of violence at the 23 March rally, emphasising their commitment to facilitating peaceful protests while condemning unlawful actions. Two young women were arrested at the event, with charges pending.