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The Drag Pussycat Dolls Hit Bondi Beach: VIDEO

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Drag queens Natasha Knowles, Decoda Secret and Little X cause a scene at Sydney's Bondi Beach.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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A Homophobic Vandal Hit Sydney's 'Midnight Shift' Nightclub, But at Least He Was Artistic About It

Shift

Sydney's iconic Midnight Shift gay nightclub was hit by a homophobic graffiti artist for the first time in its 30-year-history, and the vandal struck in broad daylight, the Sydney Star Observer reports:

In one tag subtitled “The Gays,” the offender suggests: “Men should not engage in homosexual sex with one another!”

Another reads: “Pu**y is delicious!! A gift from God,” while a crude picture of male genitalia is adorned with the words, “An ugly, ugly d**k”.

The club's owner Michael Bourke said it was the first time a graffiti vandal had hit the club, and he took note of the criminal's artistry:

“I think at the end of the day it just proves that we are not on a safe strip as everyone sometimes thinks we are. There are still people like this out there and homophobia still exists. Perhaps people don’t expect to see it in the heart of Sydney.”

Although the victim of the vandal’s “handiwork,” Bourke told the Star Observer that he could find some humour in the incident.

“I’ve looked at the footage and he was just calmly going about his business. For people walking past it may have looked like something the bar was paying for,” he explained. “It was actually quite creative. It only took him about six minutes to do it. It wasn’t just scrawl, there was a kind of artistic merit to it.

More images at the SSO.


Do-It-Yourself Rainbow Crosswalks Popping Up All Over Sydney in Response to Shameful Crossing Removal

Rainbows

Yesterday I reported on the shameful action by NSW Roads and Maritime Services in Sydney, which stealthily removed a much beloved rainbow crosswalk in the middle of the night.

Now, rainbow crosswalks have begun springing up all over Sydney in response to the removal in a kind of chalk and paint revellion.

The do-it-yourself demonstration even has its own Facebook page.

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Sydney and its Gay Community are Furious After the State Ripped Out its Rainbow Crosswalk in the Middle of the Night

Rainbow

Since its Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sydney's Council and LGBT community has been involved in a debate with the city over keeping a rainbow crosswalk in the center of its gay village.

Last night, a city official (with the last name Gay, ironically) gave the order to remove the crosswalk, the Daily Telegraph reports:

Roads and Maritime Services removed the crossing overnight at the request of Roads Minister Duncan Gay, ending the stalemate between Sydney Council and the government. [Lord Mayor] Cr Moore, who was hosting a forum on the council's cultural policy when the trucks started to arrive at Taylor Square last night, said the move was "a retrograde step".

"I felt they'd come like a thief in the night to remove this crossing that had had such amazing support from the community and which had such support from the business community in Oxford St," she said "It's a sad day for us as a contemporary, progressive city and I thought that's what the crossing symbolised."

CrossingLGBT site Same Same adds:

The official reason for its destruction is that it is “unsafe”, but Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich and Mayor Clover Moore has shown the safety risk assessment of the crossing is “low risk”, clearly debuking Roads and Maritime Services concern. Greenwich suggested emergency crews were dispatched last night from Ultimo to vanquish the crossing, again raising questions about government resource allocation to instill discrimination and also begging the question about where priorities lie.

“It’s one thing to call for the removal, but to divert RMS crews under the guise of emergency road works is an aggressive act that Sydneysiders will not forget,” he reacts angrily. “Local businesses, residents, and the City of Sydney Council were not given any notice. This even surprised the RMS crew who at the last minute were instructed to remove the crossing."

UPDATE: Towleroad (@TLRD) Twitter follower @LiamGeslaf has alerted us that a rainbow crossing memorial has started at the site of the former crosswalk.

Supporters can plant their own flags or buy one at the site.

Memorial


Gay Mardi Gras Police Brutality Victim Speaks Out in Interview: VIDEO

Jackson

Jamie Jackson, the reveler at the center of the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras police brutality incident, sat down for an interview with Jan Grimshaw of Australia's A Current Affair. Jackson talks about what led to the incident. Jackson, who was in costume, says the incident started when he touched a girl and was accused of assault.

Meanwhile, a second video has emerged which shows Jackson possibly swinging at an officer as he was apprehended before he was slammed to the ground in front of onlookers.

Watch both videos, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Sydney Gay Community Plans March Against Police Brutality; Commissioner Says Arrested Teen Swore at Officers

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Sydney's police commissioner says a teen seen being arrested with excessive force in a video shot during Saturday night's Mardi Gras festivities had sworn at police, the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Mr Murdoch told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the initial offence that led police to apprehend Mr Jackson was for offensive language. Mr Jackson was then charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest as a result of his interaction with the Fairfield officer and he will appear in court on April 1.

The state MP and gay rights campaigner, Alex Greenwich, said it was very concerning that a large police officer ‘‘body slammed’’ a teenage boy for swearing.

‘‘If the only thing that the individual did was use offensive language, then I think many would agree that the approach the police took to the situation and the body slam on the ground is certainly a heavy-handed approach to the matter,’’ he said.

...Mr Greenwich and the Mardi Gras board will meet with the Police Minister, Michael Gallacher, and the chair of this year’s Mardi Gras, Peter Urmson, said: "We’re not gonna let this get swept under the carpet".

Mr Murdoch said the officer from Fairfield was still on duty pending an internal investigation.

SydneyAlso troubling is the arresting officer's order to the person filming to stop.

The video now has nearly 700,000 views and has provoked anger around the world.

Sydney activists groups are planning a march this Friday night and demanding an independent inquiry:

We are calling for everyone to meet at Taylor Square on Friday night to march to the Surry Hills Police Station to demand justice. Please join us! Urgent action is needed. We are peaceful protesters objecting to police violence.

A witness at the scene with her two teenaged sisters says the violent actions of the officers involved left her younger siblings seriously traumatised.

“They were crying while the police bashed the boy’s head into the cement,” she said. “It was horrible, disgusting behaviour.”

We demand an end to police violence against the LGBTI community and a full apology to Jamie Jackson and Bryn Hutchinson, and all victims of brutality at Mardi Gras 2013.

More than 1500 people have responded to the march's page on Facebook.


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