The Mardi Gras parade made its way through Sydney’s streets last night, but amidst the glitter and glamour, three protesters were removed after attempting to block the official Liberal Party float.
The protesters were part of a queer group called The Department Of Homo Affairs, who carried banners with slogans like “turn back their float.” One was seen wearing a Scott Morrison mask.
It’s understood that the group were not officially registered as part of Mardi Gras celebrations, but they took to the streets to march anyway, as seen below.
In a statement today, NSW Police said that they were “requested to remove three people from the parade ground for unauthorised entry. Their removal was done to ensure the event could continue to proceed in a safe and peaceful manner.”
“The three people – two aged 31 and another aged 35 – were removed from the Mardi Gras parade ground, near Taylor Square, following an unauthorised entry about 10pm. No further police action is anticipated.”
Police said they were “disappointed” in the actions of the protesters, but some have pointed out that the actions of The Department Of Homo Affairs are in line with the spirit of the original Mardi Gras, which began as a protest.
Congrats to @AffairsHomo for their successful protest and turn back of the Cook Endeavour float!— D.A. Carter (@itspapafire) February 29, 2020
Shame on @nswpolice for being "disappointed" their actions "did not comply" with the "spirit of the celebrations".
WAKE UP TO HISTORY you clowns. #resist250 pic.twitter.com/bfaVoWUYKN
The current parade commemorates the ’78ers, a group of LGBT people who were arrested and beaten by police when they attempted to march in commemoration of the Stonewall riot in the US.
Though most who were arrested were let go with charges dropped, their names were published in the press, leading to heavy stigma, as homosexuality was a crime in NSW at the time.