'Nothing to do with marriage': DJ who headbutted Abbott

The man who headbutted former prime minister Tony Abbott has declared it had "nothing to do" with same-sex marriage but was about his lifelong ambition to headbutt "a fascist".

Astro Labe, a 38-year-old DJ, barista and anarchist from North Hobart, told Fairfax Media he was not motivated by the marriage equality debate despite wearing a "yes" badge at the time of the attack.

"It was nothing to do with the 'yes' campaign, that was just a sticker that a friend stuck on me," he said.

"[It] was just a lifelong ambition to headbutt a fascist because I'm a skinhead that likes ska music and hates fascism. He's an evil c---, I'm an anarchist and I believe in human rights."

Mr Abbott used the assault on Friday to condemn the "ugliness" of some same-sex marriage supporters in the campaign and declared: "If you don't want to be pushed around by activists, vote 'no'."

But he conceded the offender had not specifically raised the topic of same-sex marriage during the altercation or the expletive-laden rant that followed.

Mr Labe was charged with one count of common assault and received conditional bail to appear at Hobart Magistrates Court on October 23. Fairfax Media sighted his court documents at the Republic Bar and Cafe on Friday evening as he conducted a series of media interviews.

"I headbutted him quite piss-poorly because I was quite pissed," Mr Labe said. He said he had no remorse but acknowledged his actions had harmed the "yes" campaign and said he was "really f--king embarrassed by it".

The incident came at a terrible time for the "yes" campaign, which is preparing for a massive doorknocking drive this weekend. It was forced to distance itself from the offender, and was backed by Attorney-General George Brandis, one of the government's prominent "yes" advocates.

"This man had absolutely nothing to do with those who advocate the 'yes' case," he told Sky News.

Both sides of the same-sex marriage debate insisted their campaigns would not be altered by the incident. The "yes" camp distanced itself from the actions of the "stupid clown" in Hobart, and the official "no" campaign declined to capitalise on it.

Tiernan Brady, executive director of the Equality Campaign, said all political campaigns were confronted by "people who do not represent anybody, who do stupid things".

"The terrible truth is these incidents from the fringe of both sides are literally nothing to do with what's going on in the country at large," he told Fairfax Media.

"When we see some of the dreadful posters and dreadful leaflets and violent incidents that have happened to the 'yes' side, we don't believe for one second that that is representative of what people who may not be for marriage equality think."

Monica Doumit, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Marriage, denied the incident was a political win for the "no" campaign.

"Violence is never a win. Any type of attack or intimidation is not a win. We would prefer that none of this is happening," she told Fairfax Media.

"Mr Abbott obviously has a public profile but we've seen so many examples of bad behaviour throughout this campaign that I don't think this particular incident does anything to change the momentum of the campaign."

Some Coalition MPs looked to capitalise on the alleged assault, with Liberal senator Eric Abetz claimed the headbutting incident was "a harbringer of what is likely to occur" if same-sex marriage were legalised.

Mr Abbott, who said he was "entirely unscathed" apart from a slightly swollen lip, said: "I think pretty clearly this bloke wanted to make his contribution to the current debate - only instead of doing it respectfully, he did it through a little bit of politically-motivated violence or attempted violence."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelled the attack "disgraceful" and "un-Australian" and urged calm and restraint for the remainder of the campaign.

This story 'Nothing to do with marriage': DJ who headbutted Abbott first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.