NSW police removed three protestors from Sydney’s 42nd Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade after they attempted to block the official Liberal Party Float.
Mardi Gras and NSW Police have come under fire after protestors in a queer activist group called the Department of Homo Affairs, were forcibly removed at roughly 10 pm for carrying banners denouncing the Liberal Party, whose official float travelled behind them.
The banners included slogans such “turn back their float,” with one protestor also wearing a Scott Morrison mask. While the Department of Homo Affairs were not officially registered as part of Mardi Gras celebrations, they took to the streets to march anyway in a peaceful yet satirical protest of the Liberal government’s recent actions.
Police confirmed that while the three protestors were arrested, no charges were laid.
In a statement made on Sunday NSW Police Assistant Commissioner, Tony Crandell described the protest as “disappointing,” claiming that their removal was made to keep the parade a peaceful event.
“Police have come a long way in building relationships with the LGBTQI community and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras event organisers,” he said.
“However, it was disappointing that we 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 Department of Homo Affairs protested the Liberal parties float in an action of “queer solidarity” with First Nations communities who oppose the planned circumnavigation of a replica of the HMS Endeavour around Australia.
A member of The Department of Homo Affairs, known as Officer Hazardous Material, told Star Observer that LGBTQI people have a responsibility to continue advocating for other marginalised communities.
“I think to be queer is to have a politicised identity,” they said.
“I think if you look at our roots they come from black, First Nations, trans women. Our roots come out of some of the most intrusive forms of political violence and being queer is inherently political.
“You can’t see a group oppressed by state violence and then ignore the rights of another group oppressed by state violence.”