Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Dark Side of Mardi Gras

Nothing says PARTY TIME FIESTA like encountering hordes of police and a phalanx of sniffer dogs. 

For lack of any real problems in Australia, the government creates them. Such is the case with an overly intense police presence at Sydney Mardi Gras that includes drug dogs, humiliating and degrading strip searches of partygoers, and this year several accounts of police misconduct, including one caught on tape of 18 year old Jamie Jackson. I don't care what he did or whether he's innocent, but he was handcuffed and in custody when police officer 266 brutally threw him to the ground where he crash landed on his skull. There is no way this type of violence would have happened if instead of a petit young gay boy, he was a petite young girl. 

I'm appreciative of police and the often dangerous work they do to protect and serve, but having been a victim of police brutality (MTA in NYC) myself, I am appalled that some of these public servants are thugs who will mete out the punishment that is legally only administered by a court of law. So I showed up to the rally against police brutality, and against the harassment of non-threatening partygoers - an effort that accomplishes nothing but bad PR. I was happy to see Australians engage in a bit of activism. 

And the word is getting out that Australia is a police state, and maybe once this truth gets out and tourism drops - they will learn to chill.

Of course no protest is complete without drag queens taking the piss... 

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