Activists Rally In Sydney For Trans Day Of Resistance

Activists Rally In Sydney For Trans Day Of Resistance
Image: LGBT Protesters in Sydney, August 5, 2023. Image: Justin Cooper

Activists are rallying in Sydney’s Inner West over the weekend for the Trans Day of Resistance, a national day of action for transgender and gender-diverse communities.

On Saturday, November 25, grassroots organisation Pride in Protest (PiP) are leading a march and rally at Newtown’s Pride Square, from 1pm. With the support from various organisations and union groups, participants will make a unified call for the end of discrimination against trans and gender-diverse people.

For ‘Self-ID And Anti-Discrimination’

Speaking with Star Observer, PiP spokesperson Jamie explains the significance of the rally in showing a strong force of resistance for trans communities.

“We called the Trans Day of Resistance National Day of Action because visibility without resistance makes trans people nothing more than easier targets,” said Jamie.

“We are rallying around the five demands of [keeping] queer kids safe in school, no right to discriminate, no barrier to transition, cops out of the community, and decriminalise & destigmatise sex work.”

In encapsulating “the crux” of issues faced by Trans and LGBTQI communities, Jamie said NSW is at a “critical point” in fighting for “self-ID and anti-discrimination.”

PiP spokesperson and activist, Jamie. Image: Justin Cooper

“We are seeing unions increasingly striking for gender-affirmation leave, a call Labor refused to bindingly agree to at the Local Government NSW conference,” said Jamie.

“Across the continent, discrimination and financial barriers make transition unattainable for so many people, both at work and at school.”

Highlighting the significance of the tabled Equality Bill in NSW Parliament, Jamie said, “Police violence against trans people and sex workers is an ever-present threat.”

“Queer kids are subject to ongoing discrimination reinforced by conservative religious and state forces,” they continued.

PiP has been pushing for the NSW Government to swiftly implement the Equality Bill, which was tabled by Sydney MP Alex Greenwich in August. The bill includes various reforms to help anti-discrimination laws for queer people within schools and workplaces. It will aim to adequately decriminalise sex work.

‘Collective Liberation’

Jamie also brings awareness to the ongoing war in Gaza, saying the impact of “Zionist forces” has led to thousands of deaths, including “queer and non-queer Palestinians” lives.

Furthermore, they note the “ongoing police brutality… systemic discrimination and land theft” that Indigenous people continue to face.

“The struggle for queer liberation must include queer Palestinians and queer Blak people, because no one is free until we’re all free,” Jamie continued.

“Ultimately, it is only by taking to the streets and organising our workplaces that we can achieve our collective liberation.”

Union Support

The rally had been endorsed by various worker and student union groups, as well as the Greens NSW political party.

Union groups, including the United Workers Union, have supported the rally in bringing awareness to the workplace discrimination faced by trans people.

Spokesperson Mel Gatfield told Star Observer that United Workers Union “stands with our trans siblings in what is a shared struggle.”

“We know that the perpetrators of violence against the trans community are the same people who seek to limit our right to protest and unionise, who wish to control women’s bodies, and who put profits before people,” Gatfeild continued.

“We have a very diverse membership, bound by solidarity, and we are proud to rally alongside the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Other organisations to endorse the event include the National Tertiary Education Union, Community Legal Centres Australia, Union Pride, Game Workers Australia, and many more state-specific groups.

Following speeches from community activists at the Pride Square, groups will also march down Kings Street to Victoria Park, Camperdown.

Participants are also encouraged to join in celebrating community talent and activism, during PiP’s Mardi Gras campaign launch and fundraiser party at the Red Rattler from 7pm.

Sydney’s rally will also coincide with other rallies across cities along the Australian East Coast, with Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart communities also commemorating the day.

The national rally and campaign follows last week’s Trans Awareness Week celebrations and Transgender Day of Remembrance on Monday, November 20.

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