Acknowledgment for the 78ers at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

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To the Sydney Mardi Gras Board and CEO
In 1978, to coincide with the anniversary of  the stonewall riots,  a group of people marched down Oxford St with a small soundsystem on the back of a truck. This was the first Mardi Gras march. When the march reached Hyde Park, the police moved in and confiscated the truck and soundsystem. Undeterred, the marchers moved on to Kings Cross at which point they were met with severe police brutality. 53 people were charged at Darlinghurst police station. They were beaten by police in the cells, with the remaining crowd still outside hearing their cries for help. Even though most of these charges were later dropped, the names, addresses and occupations of those arrested were published in the Sydney Morning Herald, outing them, and causing some to lose their jobs.  Despite the authorities attempt to control and silence the community, this would turn into a defining moment in Australia’s LGBTQI history.

Every year since, Mardi Gras has continued to grow and evolve into a global celebration of gay pride. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The 78’ers, have a float in this years parade with 160 people registered. Mardi Gras have offered the 78’ers 20 free tickets and 30 discounted tickets to the after party.  A lottery will be drawn for these tickets, meaning many 78’ers will not be able to attend the party on this momentous occasion.

Quite simply, Mardi Gras would not exist without these brave people and they deserve better.

We are asking for free entry to the party and free entry to every event in the 2018 Mardi Gras Festival  for every 78er.

This is the least we can do.

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