Around a dozen queer rights activists disrupted the Victoria Police contingent in the 2023 Midsumma Pride March, in protest over their participation in the march.
Protesters chanted slogans such as “Stonewall was a riot, queers will not be quiet” and “no cops at pride, don’t let it slide.”
Police participation in pride events is controversial within the LGBTIQ+ community. Pride events originated as protest movements against police oppression towards queer people, much of which continues to this day.
In addition to the police, the protest was also directed at private security companies such as Serco and GEO Group, the latter of which participated in this year’s march. GEO Group runs Ravenhall prison – transgender women imprisoned there face extreme sexual violence with deaths in custody reported.
A spokesperson for CRYM, who chose to remain anonymous, said “Police have always been, and will continue to be, tools of state oppression”
“They’ve been used to violently oppress and attack queer people, both historically and currently, through physical and legal means.”
“To this day, the queer community is subject to systemic police violence, existing alongside and in collusion with classism, sexism, racism, and colonialism. Queer history is built upon resistance to police profiling, harassment, and brutality; acting as though they are our allies is a disgraceful act of revisionism.”
It’s not the first time police participation in Midsumma has been protested. In 2022, a small group of activists from the Whistleblowers, Activists and Communities Alliance also disrupted the Victoria Police contingent in the pride march.