Police Brutality at Sydney Mardi Gras 2013

March 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

Shocking footage of police brutality during Sydney’s gay and lesbian Mardi Gras is circulating on social media. If we act right away we can make sure they don’t get away with it.

A video shows a policeman smacking a man to the ground and standing on his back, in front of onlookers. The beating can’t be taken back, but we can make sure the police are held to account with an independent investigation to properly punish any homophobic behaviour. The NSW Police Minister, Michael Gallacher, needs to order an independent investigation, now. He’s already under pressure from community groups and other MPs, and with all of our voices together, we can move him to act.

Let’s create a firestorm online and in the streets to protect ourselves and our friends from police violence and we’ll deliver the petition directly to the Police Minister. Sign now and tell Michael Gallacher to fully investigate the incident and make sure Sydney is safe for all:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/mardi_gras_violence_b/?bBOoRdb&v=22643

Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade, now a global phenomenon attended by millions, was born out of a violent act of police brutality. The first parade in 1978 led to 53 arrests and many beatings. Last weekend’s heavy-handedness harks back to a time when the LGBT community had few rights and in many cases lived in fear from violence because of who they were. Australia has come so far in a generation, and police brutality cannot be tolerated in 2013.

The police have said they’ll launch an internal investigation, but given the history of animosity with the LGBT community it could too easily become a face-saving exercise to placate public attention. We need to know that police aren’t avoiding the tough questions — like whether this brutality was driven by homophobic behaviour — and that the police involved will be properly held to account if it is.

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