Tensions flare ahead of Mardi Gras with ‘unauthorised protest’ in Sydney CBDPosted by On

Tensions have flared between the LGBTQ+ community and police at an “unauthorised protest” in Sydney’s CBD ahead of the Mardi Gras parade.

Roughly 300 protesters turned up at Taylor Square on Oxford Street, Surry Hills, at 8pm yesterday.

Crowds were reportedly heard yelling “No cops, No bigots,” in relation to police being allowed to march in the Mardi Gras Parade tonight.

Police have described the rally as an “unauthorised protest”, and allege the crowd began blocking traffic at 8.30pm.

Roughly 300 protesters turned up at Taylor Square on Oxford Street, Surry Hills, at 8 pm yesterday. (Nine)

“With the assistance of additional police, the crowd were directed to move onto the footpath. Those who did not comply with police directions were physically removed,” police said in a statement.

“The crowd later dispersed, with part of the group attending the Sydney Police Centre on Goulburn and Riley Streets, where they continued to protest.

“As the group dispersed, they moved onto Goulburn Street, again blocking vehicle traffic before police intervened moving them onto the footpath.”

The protest organisers insist that police instigated the violence and assaulted the crowd.

Evan van Zijl of activist group Pride in Protest said police violence, intimidation and threats were nothing new.

“We saw cops hitting and shoving our friends and chosen family,” van Zijl said.

“We saw a police officer grab our friend, a trans woman, by her throat. We heard officers threatening to pepper…

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