SNAP ACTION: POLICE ASSAULTS AT MARDI GRAS
This year's Mardi Gras was marked by a number of violent police assaults. Graphic and disturbing footage shows a handcuffed teenager being violently slammed head-first onto Oxford Street after the parade had ended. Queer rights activist Bryn Hutchinson also reported that he was hog tied, kicked and stomped on by police as he tried to cross the road.
We are calling for everyone to meet at Taylor Square on Friday night to march to the Surry Hills Police Station to demand justice. Please join us! Urgent action is needed. We are peaceful protesters objecting to police violence.
A witness at the scene with her two teenaged sisters says the violent actions of the officers involved left her younger siblings seriously traumatised.
“They were crying while the police bashed the boy’s head into the cement,” she said. “It was horrible, disgusting behaviour.”
Another witness adds: “They picked him up by the throat and slammed him into the ground with his head hitting the ground that hard it sounded like a bowling ball hitting the ground,” she said. “This was while he was in handcuffs.”
An extra 1,000 police were stationed in the CBD for the night’s festivities, with many of the officers called from outer suburban and regional commands. Attendees of the Mardi Gras after party were forced to under go total strip searches.
This year's parade celebrated 35 years since the first Mardi Gras in 1978. That first Mardi Gras was attacked by police who arrested 53 people, only 2 of whom were ever charged, while the Police released the full names of all arrestees to be published in the media. As a result almost all were sacked from their jobs and suffered from homophobic attacks. The NSW Police Force never apologised for this disgraceful behaviour. We ask that today we receive this apology.
We demand an end to police violence against the LGBTI community and a full apology to Jamie Jackson and Bryn Hutchinson, and all victims of brutality at Mardi Gras 2013.
An independent inquest into the bashings and arrests at Mardi Gras 2013. We want an independent inquiry. Police should not investigate themselves.
Convener, Community Action Against Homphobia
National Queer Officer, National Union of Students
Activist, Community Action Against Homophobia
0425 220 635