Regional WA LGBTIQ+ group Albany Pride has welcomed a local MP’s offer of support after the group suspect vandals cut down and stole a rainbow banner promoting their upcoming festival.
The group took to Facebook this week to share the “very sad” news that the approved banner was gone and appealed for information.
“We’re so sad! Our beautiful new banner was no sooner displayed at the corner of North Rd and Lockyer Avenue than it was cut down and removed,” the group explained.
“The banner stated the dates of the Albany Pride Festival – 3-12 March next year – and featured bright colours and our lovely whale emblem.
“We’re not sure who might have taken the banner or for what reason, but we would love it back.”
Albany Pride said their local council had also been notified, who had confirmed they hadn’t removed the banner.
The City of Albany earlier granted the LGBTIQ+ group a permit to display it on the roadside fencing, alongside other community event banners.
Albany Pride appealed for information on the banner’s whereabouts as it “would be expensive to replace,” as locals also responded with anger with sadness.
But local state Labor MP Darren West, who saw Albany Pride’s Facebook post, offered his support to the group.
“If you’re unable to find the banner, I’ll happily pay for a new one … or four,” West wrote, urging the group to contact his office.
The group replied, “Thank you for such a wonderful and kind offer, it really is deeply appreciated by the Albany Pride team – it genuinely means a lot to us.”
Albany Pride slams suspected vandal after banner taken down
Albany Pride executive member Tiger Bird told ABC News the approved banner was fastened to the fence with cable ties. It would have required “a bit of effort” to remove.
Bird explained that sadly, the group suspects the banner was removed intentionally.
They said in country areas like Albany, queer events, visibility and shows of support were vital for locals’ wellbeing.
“To pull over and get rid of [the pride banner]… do you not have anything better to do with your day?” Bird said.
“Just for this little moment of vitriol and self-satisfaction, you’re putting people’s lives at risk.”
However, Bird said the group would “not be silenced” and Albany Pride would put on their festival in March “louder and prouder” than ever.
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