Today, Sydney Mardi Gras has become one of Sydney's biggest annual tourist attractions. However, when it began in 1979, it was to mark the first anniversary of a march that led to shocking police violence against peaceful protestors exercising their right to campaign for LGBTQIA+ liberation.
For the second year in a row, a collection of activist groups including Pride in Protest, Rainbow Rebellion Sydney and DIY Rainbow are staging a counter-protest on the original parade route along Oxford Street in the afternoon prior to the official Mardi Gras Parade at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Consider showing up at Taylor Square at 1pm before (or instead of) the ticketed stadium spectacle if you want to mark your Mardi Gras with some political action in defiance of government actions that are infringing on LBGTQIA+ rights, including the Religious Discrimination Bill and moves to exclude transgender people from single-sex sports. The protest organisers are also demanding the decriminalisation of sex work, transition leave for workers and other matters.
Attendees are asked to sign in, wear a mask, be up to date with vaccinations, and to stay home if you've got flu-like symptoms.
The rally will be followed by a Pride Street Party where the community are asked to BYO magic, street performance, speakers, music, face painting, friends, family and allies to create a big, loud, out and proud riot.
Find out more and follow the Facebook event for updates.