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NSW Police Officers Heavy Handed Tactics with Sydney Mardi Gras Reveler

  • Written by Rob Manser
  • Category: Latest

On the occassion that marked the 35th anniversary of the gay community rising up against the police force and taking a stand for gay rights, Mardi Gras parade attendees have been dealt with by some officers from Fairfield LAC (brought into the area to assist the local command with the event) in what appears to be a very heavy handed way.

A youtube video has been posted of the incident, filmed by a member of the media covering the parade.


I was a press photographer for the parade, walking along the backstreets shortly after it had concluded between 11pm and 11:30pm, we heard a man screaming for repeatedly for help.

Walking over we saw him being restrained by two police officers with another 4 in close proximity, he was repeatedly asking them "What have I done wrong?" which they would not respond, all they would say was "you are under arrest".

He calling for people walking past to help him and with a large crowd of people began to surround the event.

He was struggling and resisting but not aggressively.

The officers told him to stop resisting to which he would reply "why are you doing this I haven't done anything?."
The officer "FAIRFIELD LAC 266" then grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed his head into the stone pavement, as he tried to get up he was then punched multiple times in the head, leaving blood all over the pavement. The crowd of people overlooking screaming at the officer to stop.

After seeing that I began filming.


What I found most shocking about this event is that the other officers seem to be aware that the amount of force they are using was completely unmerited and excessive.
So they hastily try to force me to stop filming.

As a press photographer I knew I was completely within my rights to film police officers in a public space, doing nothing wrong and breaking no laws, so I refused.

You will notice I ask multiple times why I am not allowed to film and what laws am I breaking and receive no response.

There were at least 6 officers in the immediate vicinity, the victim was only small and could have easily been restrained by the officers without injury.
Instead they choice to force him into submission by repeatedly punching him and throwing him into the pavement.

You'll also hear him asking over and over what he has done wrong to which he doesn't get a response."




SGLMG Responds

Late Tuesday evening, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) received and viewed footage involving NSW Police arresting a spectator with excessive force at the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade on the weekend. This incident is quite distressing and our thoughts are with the individual, his family, friends and those that witnessed this. The Board and management of SGLMG assure the community and parade viewers that we have requested a meeting tomorrow with the Minister of Police and that we are working with the state Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich, MP Sydney, to have this incident investigated and addressed.


Update: 7th March 2013


If you experienced or witnessed an instance of police using excessive force during the Mardi Gras period, it is really important that you report it - either to ACON's Anti-Violence Project, or to Inner City Legal Centre. ACON and ICLC have both given assurances that anyone who does make a report will be offered the full support of both organisations. We need this information on the record so we can advocate more effectively for improved security measures for members of our community.


Superstar DJ/Remixers launch Crowdfunding Campaign

  • Written by Rob Manser
  • Category: Latest

You will know the lads work from remixes for Kylie Minogue, Dannii Minogue and Zoe Badwi, as well as some of the worlds most famous FLASH MOBS...  but now Dan Murphy, Andrew Young and Damien Goundrie, also known as Mystery Blonde are releasing their new single, and looking to do a slick video thanks to the new phenomenom of crowd funding.


Fans, friends and lovers of great house music, can pledge some dosh and in return, get the boys to do something fun and fierce in return - some of the "rewards" include:


- signed limited-edition CDs
- invitations to the VIP launch party
- DJing at a private house parties
- remixing people's songs


So any aspiring singers out there, or even bonafide artists, this is a cheap way to get yourself remix by some of the worlds best, otherwise jump on and help some of our communities finest acheive a goal and a dream.


You can check out the boys campaign on Pozible here.

You can join the official DJ Dan Murphy group on here.

Oxford Street's Rainbow Crossing Finally Arrives

  • Written by Rob Manser
  • Category: Latest

The installation of the Rainbow crossing, promised to Sydney by it's council for the Sydney Mardi Gras season has finally been installed at Talyor Square.


Oxford Street has been given a bold makeover, with a rainbow stretching across the iconic strip to honour 35 years of Mardi Gras.


The colourful crossing at Taylor Square is in place in time for this year’s festival parade on 2 March, which will be the biggest ever with 10,000 participants and 108 floats.


It was painted overnight, with work completed and Oxford Street reopened at 5am to provide a brilliant ‘good morning’ for visitors, locals and workers along the iconic street.


Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the rainbow would help make Oxford Street the No.1 destination for the tens out thousands of people visiting Sydney for Mardi Gras.


“The City is determined to support local businesses along Oxford Street. This time of year is a vital opportunity for the cafes, shops, galleries and other small businesses and we want to make sure all eyes are on this iconic strip,” the Lord Mayor said


“Along with our colourful rainbow banners, our artwork on the former T2 building, the flower installations in Taylor Square and a pop-up Mardi Gras museum, the new rainbow crossing will make Oxford Street an unmissable sight.”


Mardi Gras is a visual spectacle that attracts almost 400,000 people each year and injects about $30 million into the NSW economy.


The City of Sydney painted the rainbow crossing as part of its ongoing support for Mardi Gras, which included $400,000 for the festival in 2013 and 2014, as well as $252,700 of in-kind sponsorship.


Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik said the rainbow crossing is a bold and beautiful tribute to Sydney’s GLTB communities.


“It further cements Sydney Mardi Gras in the heart of Oxford Street itself,” Mr Rolik said.


Rainbow crossings were first installed in West Hollywood in 2012 ahead of the GLTB Pride celebrations there in June, and public support has been very positive. The rainbow crosswalks in West Hollywood have created such a positive buzz, Hollywood tour buses now detour to make them part of the show.


LA-based artist Martin Duvander, who first raised the idea with the Mayor of West Hollywood, said the rainbow crosswalks were a milestone for the GLTB movement.


“The sheer impact and the enormous visibility of the global message they send are truly immeasurable,” Mr Duvander said.


“I’m humbled that Sydney will have its own rainbow crosswalk, and I have complete admiration for those who have driven this initiative and made it a reality.”


Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the rainbow crossing was also a fitting tribute to one of Australia’s most significant cultural events.


“This year we’re celebrating how much Sydney’s GLBT community has achieved and how much Mardi Gras has contributed to making our city the inclusive, accepting and safe place it is today,” the Lord Mayor said


“Thirty-five years ago the first Mardi Gras set off from this very spot. What began as a street celebration ended with a protest march, violence and arrests, and a renewal of the campaign for equal rights.


“We owe much to those brave ’78ers who took part and continued their activism, inspiring many others.


“We’ve come a long way since then and I hope this rainbow crossing will be a source of pride for everyone in our community.”


The crossing in Oxford Street, for which the City obtained Roads and Maritime Services approval, was painted using the same hard-wearing and non-skid material used to mark bus lanes.


The painting is initially for a trial period, during which time any issues relating to safety for pedestrians, traffic, or the local business and residential community will be monitored.


Sydney's MP, Alex Greenwich has started a petition to call on the NSW Roads and Transport Minister to make the installation a permanent one - you can sign it here.