MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 12 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – American pro-life activist Bryan Kemper says he is bruised and sore, but recovering, after a mob of pro-abortion counter-protesters attacked him and his team of pro-life activists during the March for the Babies in Melbourne, Australia.
Kemper, the founder of Prolife Stand True Ministries, a ministry of Priests for Life, told LifeSiteNews.com today that he was thrown to the ground and repeatedly kicked. Several other members of his team were also roughed up.
Pro-life Victoria Member of Parliament Bernie Finn also told the press that he was “belted in the head” and pelted with eggs, and that fellow pro-life MP Andrew Elsbury was thrown to the ground and stomped on.
“What we saw today was literally a public mugging on the streets of Melbourne and Victoria Police let it happen,” Finn fumed. “We had people being assaulted, being kicked, being stomped on and they sat back and watched.”
Trouble began brewing even before the march began, said Kemper. When the pro-life activists tried to begin the march, they were blocked by the mob of about 200 pro-abortion protesters.
“So we all sat in protest and started praying,” he said. “Then the police let them start attacking us.”
After this the pro-lifers tried to begin marching again, but the counter-protesters pushed back, preventing them from doing so. The standoff continued for over an hour, before the pro-lifers decided to change their route.
But that was when things started to get really ugly.
“As we got to the stage the pro-aborts took over our stage and starting stealing banners and signs,” said Kemper. “That is when I was knocked to the ground and kicked and stepped on.”
“Eventually we got our stage back and finished but many of our people were assaulted. But we never gave up and I gave my speech.”
“The police were useless,” Kemper said.
Kemper sent out an emergency appeal on Facebook during the event, pleading for prayer. “Near riot situation we are being attacked as we march. Prayers please. Very bad. I've been hit many times already,” he said. “They are surrounding us. Police won't arrest them. I am in front protecting our people. This is the craziest thing ever. Over a thousand. This is scary."
Despite the violence on the part of the pro-abortion protesters, no arrests were made. A spokeswoman for the police downplayed the seriousness of the day’s events in remarks to Sky News.
“No one has been charged with assault and no matters have been brought to the attention of police," she said.
The organizer of the pro-abortion rally, Liz Walsh, admitted that there had been a “scuffle.” “Part of that was standing our ground and not wanting to be intimidated by people who want to shame women for having control over their own reproductive lives,” she said.
The annual March for Babies marks the passage in 2008 of the Abortion Law Reform Act, which organizers of the event describe as “one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world.”
The law legalized abortion in the state up until the point of birth.
The first sign that this year’s march might not go as smoothly as previous years came the night before the march, when Kemper was delivering a speech to the Youth for Life dinner. A group of pro-aborts burst into the room and started chanting.
“I stopped the talk and cleared a whole table of people and asked them to sit down, have some food and wine and join us,” Kemper wrote on the Stand True Facebook page shortly before the March. “They did. They sat there for about 10 minutes listening before getting restless again and they left without incident.
“It was obvious they did not expect to be welcomed and loved instead of yelled at, I can't wait to see them all at the Australian March for Life today and talk to them.”