Sydney, Australia: Anarcho-Queer Banner Action to Commemorate #40YearsOfStruggle

Received on 07.02.18:

On Sunday 4 March, 2018, a group of queer anarchists undertook a small follow up action as a continuation of our attempt to revolt against the vile homonationalist, corporate spectacle of the annual Sydney New Mardi Gras parade.

Using the same banner, “Never Forgive, Never Forget, #40YearsOfStruggle”, which was displayed prominently at our unauthorised protest and attempted blocking of the parade the previous evening (an action which received scant mainstream media attention and was strageically edited from the ‘live’ broadcast of the event), we sought to hang the banner from the gates of the Darlinghurst Court House. We chose this location for its stragic visibility, and its proximity to the notorious Darlinghurst Police Station- the infamous location of extreme police violence against queers arrested, and subsequently tortured, following the 1978 queer riots.

Upon attaching the banner, we were quickly accosted by a patriotic security detail who ordered us to remove the banner. The security guard spluttered in outrage, utterly affronted that we would dare disrepect and violate the sacred building and what it represents. In response to his contention that “You can’t do this here, it’s the bloody Court House for God’s sake”, we responded that the court is indeed a place representing the blood of a genocidal colonial regime, responsible for the ongoing oppression of First Nations people, queers, asylum seekers, political activists, and communities who are either routinely criminalised systemically, or actively embrace illegalist lifestyles.

We managed to secure the banner, despite security’s attempts to destroy it, and instead hung it on a toilet block (now out of use, due to the ‘respectability’ advocacy undertaken by uptight citizens demanding its closure due to its salubrious reputation as a queer public sex space). Directly opposite the dreaded Darlinghurst Police Station, the iconic Oxford Street toilet block, was also historically used, appallingly, to entrap, harrass and assault queers using the public space by the same ill-famed Darlinghurst Police – some of whom hold significant, highly compensated, powerful positions in the filth chain of command, and none of whom have ever been held accountable for their heinous actions.

Our follow-up action was driven by disgust that police – including those who have been systemically assaulting queers since the ‘first’ Mardi Gras in 1978 – are now included in the parade, in fact, their presence is embraced by rainbow assimiliationists, who have pink-washed the history of Mardi Gras and de-radicalised its political roots.

We dedicate our simple action to the queers who fought the homophobic state in 1978 – the sex workers who poured strawberry milkshakes on the heads of police beating gay men; to the dyke stunt car driver who used her professional skills to stop police cars kettling protestors; to the trans women who joined the melee; and to every queer who bashed back!

Never Forgive
Never Forget

This entry was posted in #40YearsOfStruggle, ACAB, Australia, Banners, Combative Memory, Darlinghurst, Direct Action, Fuck The Police, Mardi Gras 2018, Pink Bloc, Queer feminism, Queer Struggle, Sex Workers Struggle, so-called 'Australia', Sydney, Transgender Struggle, Warrang. Bookmark the permalink.