A Palmerston North woman was dragged out of a Stop Co-Governance meeting after protesting against the event, with some members of the crowd yelling “pull her pants down”.
Victoria Jakobs claimed to the Herald around six people assaulted her while she was protesting Julian Batchelor’s speech on Saturday night on the Palmerston North leg of the tour.
Police confirmed there were reports of protest activity both inside and outside the premises, and officers were outside the event when a member of the public exited the premises with a minor injury.
Inquiries revealed the woman received the injuries after she was forcibly removed by members of the public, and police are speaking to several people, police said.
“I was waving a sign that said ‘hate speech is not free speech,’ and two or three people tried to grab me and grab the sign away and the whistle out of my mouth,” Jakobs told the Herald.
In a video seen by the Herald, another man came then came and grabbed the chair out from under her, and pulled her by her legs out of the room.
There were even cries of “pull her pants down” as Jakobs was removed from the room.
Jakobs said her phone was thrown on the concrete floor and damaged after she was pulled out of the room.
Jakobs now has bruises all over her body, loose teeth, and is still shaken up by the event.
She said she was shocked by how few people in the room stood up and said something while she was being assaulted.
Julian Batchelor, who organised the event, said the meeting was well-attended.
“It’s tragic when you’ve got protesters trying to cancel free speech like they tried to.”
Security staff had been escorting attendees into the venue to prevent confrontations with protesters outside the building.
Police also encircled Batchelor as he left the building after the event in the face of more than 100 protesters.
The country-wide tour has attracted controversy at multiple stops.
The meeting in Golden Bay earlier this month descended into violence as attendees – including far-right extremist Lee Williams – and protesters clashed.