Two members of Pride in Protest have been stood down from the official Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board.
Pride and Protest is the radical queer collective that was behind the Mardi Gras March earlier this month.
Charlie Murphy and Alex Bouchet have been temporarily dismissed from the Mardi Gras board for 28 days. The pair say they were stood down due to their involvement in the counter-protest. However, this is disputed by the board’s co-chairs.
Neither Murphy nor Bouchet were notified of the motion prior to its passing. This renders the dismissal in breach of the board’s constitution, which requires 48 hours notice before a motion is put forward.
Murphy told Honi that she and Bouchet were dismissed due to a conflict of interest. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board required them to advocate for Pride in Protest to remove the words “mardi gras” from the protest’s name, citing copyright infringement.
“Now, if you know anything about conflict of interest, the very baseline thing that you need to do … is to remove yourself from any negotiations between those two parties…not be an active participant for only one of them in another organisation. That really is the most abhorrent thing that they’ve suggested,” Murphy tells Honi. “And so they basically continued to say, that’s what we should do. And if we weren’t doing that, we were not dealing with our conflict of interest.”
The official Mardi Gras board requested the pair not participate in the march. Whilst Bouchet didn’t attend the protest, Murphy continued her involvement.
“I’m not going to stop organising a march for the rights of trans people and sex workers. It’s absolutely absurd,” she said. “I’m sorry, but that dispute should not be cause to say that an individual shouldn’t be fighting for the rights of social justice and communities that she belongs to.”