A coalition of LGBTIQ groups are again holding an “explicitly political” Mardi Gras Rally on Oxford Street on Saturday, hours before the official Parade inside the Sydney Cricket Ground.
On Saturday night (March 5) for a second year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is a ticketed event at the Sydney Cricket Ground, due to COVID-19 planning.
Last year, activists held an alternate Mardi Gras political protest rally (pictured above) on Oxford Street, to “restore the protest roots of Mardi Gras and challenge systems of injustice.”
And on Saturday afternoon, Pride in Protest, DIY Rainbow, Rainbow Rebellion Sydney and Community Action for Rainbow Rights are organising the political protest march again along Mardi Gras’ traditional parade route from 1pm.
“The LGBTIQ community are experiencing ongoing legislative and political attacks on our rights,” organisers wrote on Facebook.
“It is as important as ever that we publicly and collectively raise our voices against these for Mardi Gras 2022.
“This calls for a protest to kill the bills and for LGBTIQ liberation, not just a ticketed event at SCG.”
Mardi Gras rally to oppose Coalition and One Nation legislation
The rally will be hosted by Pride in Protest member and Mardi Gras board member Wei Thai-Haynes and 78er David Abello.
They say the event will go ahead “rain, hail or shine” starting with speeches from 1pm at Taylor Square.
Thai-Haynes said the “explicitly political” rally will oppose recent “legislative assaults on our community”.
In New South Wales, they’re also taking aim at One Nation’s draft legislation targeting transgender children in schools.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also thrown his weight behind Liberal Senator Claire Chandler’s transphobic bill regarding trans people’s participation in sport,” Thai-Haynes said.
The Mardi Gras protest rally will also demand the decriminalisation of sex work nationwide, the funding of “services, not policing”, the end of mandatory detention for refugees, and paid transition leave for transgender workers.
“Last year, I and thousands of others marched down Oxford Street to affirm that Mardi Gras is and always will be a protest,” Thai-Haynes said.
“Our fight is not over while the bigots in Parliament continue their disgusting attacks on my community.”