Today the NSW Parliament offered an historic apology to the 78ers, participants of Sydney’s first gay and lesbian pride marches and protests.
NSW Greens spokesperson for Sexuality and Gender Identity and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong is a member of the Parliamentary Friends of LGBTI group that worked with the 78ers to have the formal apology made in Parliament.
In her speech Ms Leong called on the NSW Police to join the Parliament and apologise. She has launched a petition asking Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione to issue a formal apology.
“It is a significant step that today we are issuing an apology from this parliament – and that yesterday we saw an apology from the SMH editor. But an apology from the NSW police has not yet been forthcoming and that is one part of righting these wrongs that must occur.
“I have experienced the violence and intimidation of the NSW police firsthand. And I have seen friends, colleagues and loved ones treated the same. But there is nothing I have witnessed that goes to the fear, intimidation, and conscious brutality that the 78ers experienced that night
“The obvious and necessary step is for an apology to be issued by the NSW police. Until this is done, all the positive work being undertaken through LGBTIQ liaison officers and community outreach at events like Mardi Gras and Wear it Purple Day will not be able to achieve their full potential.
“I am calling on the NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione to recognise the violence and intimidation perpetrated by NSW police on June 24, 1978 and offer a formal apology to all 78ers for the hurt and suffering caused by the actions of NSW police.
Watch Ms Leong's parliamentary speech here: