ABBA rings out as opposing protesters face-off in Dunedin

Source: 1News

A Destiny Church offshoot and LGBTQ+ protesters squared off in Dunedin's Octagon on Saturday afternoon to the sound of ABBA's Dancing Queen.

The Freedom and Rights Coalition (FRC), founded by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki, and now led by former boxer Derek Tait, took to Dunedin's CBD to protest anti-vaccine mandates.

However, they were drowned out by the chorus of counter-protesters dancing to 70s hits.

The group was led by "queer" artist and composer Dudley Benson, who said they were there in opposition to the "homophobic" views of the FRC.

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"They espouse views that are aligned with Q-Anon, with misogyny and white supremacy, fundamentally they want to attack LGBTQ+, our communities and our rights," Benson said.

"When we found out these people were coming to Dunedin, we organised a counter-rally... we've far outnumbered Derek Tait and the Freedom and Rights Coalition.

"We've all won today against that."

But Tait appeared to welcome the counter-protest, shouting from his microphone that their music "was what I danced to in nightclubs in the 80s."

Destiny Church founder Brian Tamaki has garnered controversy in the past for his homophobic messaging.

However, Tait claimed his group were there to protest against vaccine mandates and the Three Waters reform, not LGBTQ+ rights.

"Good on them... they really added to the occasion," he told 1News.