Labor Actually Tried To Scuttle The Pro-Refugee Mardi Gras Float

One of the more prominent showings among the Mardi Gras floats was No Pride in Detention, featuring approximately 200 young activists representing LGBTQI opposition to the bipartisan mandatory detention of refugees. It provided an activist counterpoint to politicians present at the parade such as Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Malcolm Turnbull, who all officially support offshore detention.

Several activists and groups present allege that the original float order had No Pride in Detention directly adjacent to Rainbow Labor – the Australian Labor Party’s LGBTQI organisation. But a representative from Rainbow Labor spoke to Mardi Gras organisers in an attempt to have the float removed from the parade. Mardi Gras organisers struck a compromise and had the float held back.
The event followed a protest by No Pride in Detention members during a pre-parade press conference by Plibersek and Shorten, where Labor spoke about their pro-LGBTQI policy proposals. The protests expose the often uneasy tension between Labor’s progressive social policy and their increasingly conservative border policy, which aligns very closely with the Coalition’s.

PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to Evan Gray, one of the No Pride in Detention organisers, who confirmed that the float’s original position in the parade order had been confirmed on February 13th, but was only challenged by Labor after the earlier conference protest “made Shorten and Plibersek uncomfortable”.
Gray alleges that a Mardi Gras parade producer confronted the No Pride in Detention participants and assertively made Labor’s concerns known – a situation that was only calmed when another Mardi Gras organiser offered a compromise where the No Pride in Detention float would be held back. This is, according to Gray, an unusual move, which caused some disruption.
Another No Pride in Detention participant made a Facebook comment about the conversation between the parade producers and activists.
The float, despite the delay, finished the parade. 
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