Posie Parker juice-thrower charged with assault

The protester who doused controversial British speaker Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull with tomato juice at her Auckland rally has been charged with assault.

Keen-Minshull also goes by Posie Parker.

In a statement, police confirmed a person had been summoned to appear in the Auckland District Court on a single charge of common assault.

It is understood the accused is activist Eli Rubashkyn.

Rubashkyn had earlier said that police told them a warrant was likely to be filed in the Auckland District Court by 3pm yesterday.

Police denied this yesterday after Rubashkyn had already flown to Australia.

They are en route to New York, according to Rubashkyn’s Twitter account, and earlier told The New Zealand Herald that they would probably not return to New Zealand for some time.

“I am scared. I have been receiving a lot of death threats,” Rubashkyn said.

Rubashkyn posted an image of themself onboard a flight at 11.51am today, saying, “on my way to NY”.

About an hour later, Rubashkyn posted a video to social media where they said New Zealand had set a precedent countries could stand up against hate.

Sitting next to a bottle of tomato juice, Rubashkyn said, “Their posse, I think are - your genocidal hate will not be accepted in many countries of the world.

“Of course, you’re being paid for your hate,” they claimed. “You need to hate in order to use that energy to unite.

“But love is so powerful, so universal, it is everywhere. It is almost like the oxygen of the universe.”

Rubashkyn’s video was accompanied by the caption: “A message to nazi apologist transphobe Posie Parker. Trans women are woman [sic].”

A police spokesperson told the Herald several attempts were made on Tuesday and Wednesday to locate a person of interest after a “publicised assault” at Albert Park on Saturday.

“That person is aware that police would like to locate and talk to them about the incident, and ask them to come forward so the matter can be dealt with appropriately,” the spokesperson said.

“Police will not be commenting further on the investigation or what steps have been taken.”

Rubashkyn shared a screenshot of an alleged email from police urging them to front up - claiming the situation could escalate unnecessarily if a warrant is served.

“Some people are asking to revoke my citizenship. I have a warrant for arrest issued already so I will be arrested if I am in New Zealand,” they claimed.

“I will go to prison, National want to make an example, to them free speech is more important than human rights.”

Rubashkyn said a group of people was helping to find a lawyer and to raise money for a legal defence.

Yesterday, police announced they were investigating allegations of offending at the Vision NZ and Posie Parker protests in Auckland over the weekend after receiving a “number of calls and reports”.

Around 150-200 people showed up in support of Keen-Minshull and her Let Women Speak event on Saturday but they were drowned out by a much larger group of around 2000 counter-protesters. Parker then abandoned her tour, citing safety concerns.

Acting district commander Inspector Grant Tetzlaff said police were in the investigation phase of their inquiries, which involved analysing and reviewing a “considerable volume” of video footage of the protests that had been posted to social media, along with CCTV footage from nearby.

“Police have also received a number of calls and reports to 111 and 105 of alleged offending, which we are also looking into. From this, we can determine if offending has actually occurred and look to hold any offenders to account.”

On Monday, RNZ reported a group supporting Keen-Minshull, Speak Up for Women, was making a complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority about her safety at the Auckland rally.

Spokeswoman Suzanne Levy told the station she found the protesters’ behaviour disturbing and violent.

The IPCA confirmed it received multiple complaints about Keen-Minshull’s Auckland rally.