The successful Mardi Gras 2014 LGBTIQ community initiative, Fair Play, designed to help partygoers understand their legal rights and monitor police operations, will run again for this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
As a community-based initiative, Fair Play is playing an increasingly important role in raising awareness and providing information to the LGBTIQ community on a wide range of issues relating to health, safety, rights and appropriate policing practices at parties during the Mardi Gras period (particularly where police drug dog operations occur).
Fair Play is supported by a coalition of LGBTQI organisations comprising the Inner City Legal Centre, ACON’s Anti-Violence Project, and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Fair Play supersedes Project Blue, which was launched in 2009.
Nic Parkhill, CEO of ACON, said of the initiative: “ACON is proud to be part of this community-led response that seeks to keep party-goers informed and safe over the Mardi Gras period. We are committed to supporting people in our communities to know their rights and to have the support, if needed, to hold police to account.”
Fair Play activities are focussed around the following areas: a website: www.fair-play.org.au and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/yourfairplay – which informs the community about their rights, the law, police powers, and how to get help or make a complaint; train and support team of ‘Fair Players’ (volunteer members of the LGBTIQ community); and attending key Mardi Gras events (Harbour Party and Mardi Gras Party) to provide information on rights and legal support, offer emotional support and monitor police operations.
Michael Rolik, CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, added: “Fair Play continues to play an important role in ensuring members of our communities, and the many thousands of visitors who come to Sydney each year for Mardi Gras, have the information and support they need to have the best possible Mardi Gras experience.”
Dan Stubbs, director of the Inner City Legal Centre, said: “Fair Play is an initiative designed to ensure the community know the laws affecting them over the Mardi Gras period together with their legal rights and where to go to find out more. We’re also providing high quality follow up legal advice on issues that arise for party goers at Mardi Gras.”
For more information, visit: www.fair-play.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of ACON