Transgender activist who doused Posie Parker speaks out, claims they were beaten, spat on at weekend rally

A transgender activist who doused Posie Parker at a rally over the weekend has spoken out against their recent assault charge and claimed they were beaten and spat on by Parker supporters.

The counter-protesters opposing the rally have been under criticism recently amid accusations they used intimidation and violence to silence Parker and therefore freedom of speech.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has condemned the level of physical violence shown during protests over the weekend, but acknowledged that most people at the protest exercised their right to free speech respectfully.

"I think that is something we should celebrate. As I've said, I'll never support people who resort to violence," Hipkins said.

But a counter-protester and transgender activist who claims to be responsible for the infamous tomato juice dousing has come forwards, alleging the violence wasn't one-sided.

Parker, whose real name is Kellie-Jay Keen Minshull, held a rally in Auckland's Albert Park on Saturday as part of her Let Women Speak tour. A larger counter-protest was also in attendance.

The scene quickly turned chaotic, with Parker exiting before she could speak. 

Pushing started between both sides, and a small fight broke out as the activist made her way through the barricade to speak to the crowd.

Tomato juice was thrown over Parker and she was quickly escorted out of the venue by her security guards after being rushed and sprayed with water.

The rally and counter-protest in Auckland on Saturday.
The rally and counter-protest in Auckland on Saturday. Photo credit: Newshub.

Parker fled the country that night, cancelling her Wellington event as she told her social media followers she was "lucky to be alive".

Police told Newshub on Thursday the person who threw tomato juice at Parker has been summoned to appear in the Auckland District Court on a single charge of common assault.  

The tomato juice douser, LGBTQIA+ activist Eli Rubashkyn, who is on their way to New York, according to their social media, has denied the act was assault.

"It was not assault, it was literally juice," Rubashkyn told Cuetone Media.

"It was not assault, it was literally juice."
"It was not assault, it was literally juice." Photo credit: Cuetone Media

Rubashkyn revealed there was mistreatment at the rally from Parker's supporters, claiming their friends were badly treated and had their signs taken off them and thrown at them.

Rubashkyn also said they were beaten by Parker's supporters after throwing the tomato juice.

"They took me over, dropped me to the floor. As I was getting down somebody beat me in the head and then they started spitting on me… and somebody was stepping on me," Rubashkyn said.

Since the protest, Rubashkyn has been receiving hate messages on social media - including death threats.

However, Rubashkyn has no remorse over the counter-protest, saying the love of New Zealand was witnessed on Saturday as thousands marched in support of transgender people.

"I achieved everything I wanted to do, and I want tomatoes to be a symbol of trans liberation, trans intersex and non-binary liberation. That's what I want," Rubashkyn told Cuetone Media.

"And I want to tell you all… If you feel that your gender identity doesn't match with what society's expecting from you, you are not alone. 

"There are many of us, many of us that are feeling what you are feeling and you may have dark thoughts and you will feel hopeless. You will feel that there's no place in society for you. But I want to tell you that you are strong, you are beautiful, we love you. 

"We, the queer family and allies and true feminists, we love you."