Sydney CEO Mardi Gras insists his organization is focused on social justice, but will not support the protest planned for Saturday, saying safety among the Covid-19 pavidemia remains paramount.
The AAP reports that protesters planning a LGBTQI rights march on Saturday afternoon to mark Mardi Gras will soon find out if their gathering will be declared illegal.
The New South Wales the supreme court will consider it on friday a request by the state commissioner of police to stop the gathering this weekend in the interior of Sydney.
The march is set to take place ahead of the official parade of gay and lesbian Mardi Gras, moved to a cricket field in Sydney for Covid-19.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Gelina Talbot he told reporters on Friday that the protest was unauthorized because it would exceed the maximum number of people allowed at political rallies under health rules.
The current limit for political rallies is 500. More than 1,100 people have already signed up to attend the march, with another 3,200 interested.
But Talbot said police would accept the court’s outcome on Friday.
Mardi Gras, CEO Albert Kruger he told reporters that his organization remained essentially a social justice organization, but that he could not tolerate protests in violation of NSW’s public health orders.
About 10,000 people are expected at the Mardi Gras parade in SCG.
We gave each individual float a 45-second special spot on our show to convey their message … it’s not just walking around in fancy costumes, it’s a social justice event.
We support the protest, we absolutely support it, there is no other way to express ourselves.
[But] we want to be sure that, no matter what event we organize, we will do it safely and we will confidently say that our sponsors who come to this event will be safe.
Kruger also said entertainers should either attend tickets and reserve events or organize gatherings of up to 50 people at home.
The Pride In Protest activist is among those organizing the march, which plans to take the route of the original 1978 march on Oxford Street.
Organizers say the march on Oxford Street was planned because the SCG event did not represent the real purpose of Mardi Gras.
The march would continue regardless of the outcome of the court, a spokesman for Pride In Protest Toby Walmsley told the AAP this week.
Lawyers for the National Justice Project, representing the organizers, say police have no reasonable basis to ban the protest and that there is a Covid-safe plan for people to register, wear masks, rehabilitate and practice social distancing.
Meanwhile, Talbot said police will be in force Saturday across Oxford Street, Hyde Park and Moore Park to ensure the safety of entertainers.
Discoverers should also wear masks on public transportation, Talbot said.