NSW Greens spokesperson for Sexuality and Gender Identity and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong has welcomed the apology from Superintendent Tony Crandell, on behalf of the NSW Police, for the actions of police at Sydney’s first Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978.
Ms Leong says “We’re pleased to see that the NSW Police have responded to the Greens call for a long-overdue apology, that amplified the community’s long-standing request for recognition of the police actions that have caused real hurt and harm.
“Now that all of the responsible parties have made an important first step with an apology, we need to see an on-going commitment to righting the wrongs of past with real changes to behaviour and policy.
“When it comes to police that means ensuring there is no harassment or intimidation of people participating in Mardi Gras this weekend, and on-going work to create a safe environment for LGBTIQ people across NSW.
“While the work of Superintendent Tony Crandell, a spokesman for sexuality and gender diversity in the NSW Police, is well known and recognised in the community, it’s important that the apology isn’t isolated to this one part of the police force. The Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione needs to publically state his support of the LGBTIQ community and give public recognition of the apology, to reassure people that this message is coming from the entire police force,” she said.
On 25 February 2016 the NSW Parliament made an historic apology to the 78ers, the participants of the first Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney. That apology was echoed by Sydney Morning Herald, who apologised for publishing the personal details of people arrested on the night of the parade in 1978.
NSW Greens spokesperson for Sexuality and Gender Identity Jenny Leong called on the NSW Police to join the Parliament and apologise for the violence and intimidation perpetrated by NSW police on that night in her parliamentary speech.