Hundreds to march against Mardi Gras police actions
Hundreds of demonstrators are expected to gather at Taylor Square tonight for a protest march against alleged police brutality at the Mardi Gras Parade last Saturday night (March 2).
Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) has organised the march to pass down Oxford and Pelican streets to the Sydney Police Centre in Goulburn Street, Surry Hills, and back.
Protestors will demand an external investigation into last Saturday’s incidents and also the dropping off charges against former CAAH coordinator Bryn Hutchinson and Jamie Jackson, video of whose arrest has sparked national and international condemnation.
Cat Rose, convenor of CAAH said she has spoken to Donna Adney, the NSW Police Force Corporate Spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Office who said police would not stop the protest going ahead.
Rose told SX the group was hoping for a peaceful demonstration.
“The whole idea is to protest against the violence on Saturday night, to let the police know we deserve better than that,” Rose said.
“Police have said they will treat us with respect and that’s all that we’re asking for. So we have every intention of making a very peaceful protest tonight.”
Rose added she had heard from many people who intended to gather with all their friends.
“It looks like this will be one of the biggest LGBTI protest actions outside Mardi Gras itself.”
Surry Hills Local Area Commander, Superintendent Tony Crandell said in a statement that police would be on hand to ensure the safety of protestors and minimise traffic disruption.
“Police recognise and respect the democratic right of people to conduct lawful and peaceful protest activities.
“We are also mindful that a number of participants are prominent members of our Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersex (GLBTI) community with whom we have strong trusting relationships.
“We have approached protest organisers in the spirit of cooperation to ensure a safe and secure environment in which protest activities can take place and to maintain the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area. At this stage there has been little willingness from organisers to meet with us.
“Notwithstanding early difficulties, we will provide an appropriate police presence at tonight’s protest to ensure a safe and secure environment for our GLBTI community while minimising disruptions to peak hour traffic.”
Police are advising motorists to avoid the area between 6pm and 8pm.