Mardi Gras Backflips On No Cops At Pride, Allows NSW Police To March This Weekend

Organisers of Sydney Mardi Gras have appeared to have backflipped on its decision to uninvite police at this year’s Pride parade, as NSW Police confirms that its officers have been given the green light to join the festivities.

On Wednesday, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb released a statement claiming that the Mardi Gras Board has “reached an agreement” allowing police officers to march in the Pride parade, just two days after police officially had their invitation rescinded.

According to the statement, the officers have agreed to not march in uniform “in consideration of current sensitivities”.

“I am delighted that our LGBTQIA+ officers, as well as our other police who are allies and supporters, will be allowed to march this year as they have done for the past 20 years,” Webb said.

“The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an important event on the NSW Police calendar and as Commissioner, I am committed to continuing to strengthen the relationship between my organisation and the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I thank the Mardi Gras Board for the cordial discussions over the past few days.”

Following the huge backflip, activists Pride in Protest shared a scathing statement on Instagram criticising the Mardi Gras Board and its decision.

“Whether in uniform or not, police participation in the Mardi Gras parade is unacceptable,” it wrote.

“The NSW Police is not an institution that we can trust to keep us safe, and certainly not an institution that should be invited to our parade.

“We are horrified and outraged by the Mardi Gras Board’s betrayal of the queer community.”

The No Cops At Pride movement — which has been around since the first Mardi Gras event in 1978 — reached new heights in the last week due to the alleged murder of Jesse Baird and his partner Luke Davies at the hands of NSW police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon.

Following the tragic case, many members of the LGBTQIA+ have called for the Police to be uninvited from the Mardi Gras parade which is set to take place this Saturday.

In response to public pressure, NSW Premier Chris Minns and Webb defended the officers and pushed for their participation at the event. The following day, a spokesperson from the police confirmed that the Mardi Gras board had revoked their invitation. The Australian Federal Police also said that it would not be marching at Mardi Gras.