Mardi Gras Board Moves To Censure Pride In Protest Member

Mardi Gras Board Moves To Censure Pride In Protest Member
Image: Facebook

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) Board has moved to censure board member Skip Blofield for comments he made in a video while speaking at a Green Left forum on February 28.

Blofield was elected by SGLMG members at the Annual General Meeting in November.

According to an Instagram post by Queer activist group, Pride in Protest, of which Blofield is a member, the SGLMG Board moved motions to censure him for “speaking out about police brutality, pinkwashing, and Indigenous justice.”


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SGLMG Board’s Accusations 

In a conversation with Star Observer, Blofield spoke about the SGLMG Board’s accusations against him and the subsequent censure meeting, which was held last night. 

He stated that the Board gave him an opportunity to come to the meeting. However, he was unable to attend the two possible dates they provided him, due to work. 

“I’m a theatre nurse. I scrub up for surgery. I can’t just ditch that on a whim. So I said, ‘I’m not able to attend’,” he said.  

According to Blofield, the SGLMG Board has only provided approximate time stamps for the video, but not the specific offending comments.

As he was unable to attend, Blofield said, “They asked me to give a written response so I can speak for myself, but I don’t actually know what the accusation is because they haven’t given me, in writing, what the quote that they have contention with was, and why it was bad, and why they, thus, want to have a meeting over it.” 

Blofield Spoke On SGLMG Police Accords

During the Green Left forum video, Blofield spoke about the SGLMG Police Accords and police participation in Mardi Gras.

In 2018, SGLMG and the NSW Police signed an Accord that allows police to conduct public decency inspections of all participants prior to the start of the annual pride parade.

According to the language in the Accord, the police are able to conduct a “visual inspection of those intending to take part in the Mardi Gras Parade so as to ensure that public decency is not offended.” 

The Police Accord does not specifically state what is meant by “ensure that public decency is not offended.”

‘The Most Disgusting Thing That I Could Possibly Think Of’

During the hour-long video of the Green Left forum, Blofield said, “It’s the indignity that people go through, the sniffer dogs, the indecency checks, the strip searches – sometimes on minors. Their presence at Mardi Gras is actually oppressive.”

He continued, “Knowing that with the hate crimes inquiry, that we still have police, effectively after being found out to not only enabling of these hate crimes, but being complicit in these hate crimes. Being that there were officers, constables– badge carrying, gun carrying, blue uniforms, who killed gay men. That they [SGLMG Board] are still in denial of that now and that we made peace with them. That is the most disgusting thing that I could possibly think of.”

Blofield: I Should Also Mention Structural Issues With Mardi Gras

Later on at the forum, during another SGLMG Board timestamp,  Blofield called out the SGLMG Board and pointed to issues happening behind the scenes. 

He said, “I think I should also mention some of the structural issues with Mardi Gras. So as a member of Pride in Protest, I have been elected as a board member. And having seen what’s going on on the inside, it’s even worse than you think. 

“Those [police] accords. Those had last-minute adjustments by the New South Wales Police Force, without any consultation with the community and apparently, they were bad enough for them to go through an internal review. But the board never actually got to see them. Such was the lack of transparency.”

Star Observer has reached out to CEO Albert Kruger and Board Chair Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco about these accusations and the status of the Police Accord. Specifically, they were asked about Blofield’s accusations in regard to the Police Accord. They were also asked to clarify what comments by Blofield were contentious and why, as well as the outcome of the censure vote.

Mardi Gras has responded that they have no comment at this time. 

At the Annual General Meeting in November, CEO Albert Kruger told members that the Police Accord will be launched prior to Sydney WorldPride 2023 in February. 

Star Observer followed up on this, and as of May 8, according to SGLMG, the review is “still in progress at the moment.”

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3 responses to “Mardi Gras Board Moves To Censure Pride In Protest Member”

  1. Old adage – never box beneath your weight.

    Let it slide – the focus and attention is what they crave!

  2. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from Mardi Gras censuring this person. All that will happen is that the rest of the Board will be viewed as corporate, inflexible and unable to take criticism. So much better to ignore him, very politely. He sounds like is a lone figure among – is it 8? – and self-evidently powerless on the Board. If they censure him – something that arose in Mardi Gras culture about 8 years ago and is really quite alien to its hsitory – that issue will occupy them, and take away the attention on Mardi Gras itself, which now has to show that it can resurge post-pandemic and without WorldPride, which is quite a big enough job without having to swat away every gnat who buzzes around their face.

  3. Pride in Protest can’t exist if they don’t have an issue to protest. It’s common knowledge that they are anti-Marti Gras. An example of minor radicals wanting to take control over the community.
    As a long term community member, it be really good to known what are the current rights the LGBT+ are fighting for….????. Besides nominated gender on documents, surgical banned on intersex infants and religious institutions exemptions, what are the other rights issues on the agenda? We keep hearing about these “rights”, but what are these. Think Pride in Protest is suffering from Activist FOMO as the majority of the rights have been achieved. They are not LGBT friends.