Australia: Thousands sign petition to keep rainbow pedestrian crossing in Sydney
Over 12,000 people have signed a petition urging the government of New South Wales to keep a rainbow pedestrian crossing which was painted in central Sydney this year to celebrate Mardi Gras.
The petition, started by Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, asked the Roads Minister Duncan Gay, to keep the crossing, which was painted on Oxford street in Sydney ahead of this year’s Mardi Gras.
Gathering over 12,089 signatures, Mr Greenwich’s petition reads that the crossing could become an “iconic tourist attraction”, reports Yahoo.
“Enforcing the removal an iconic tourist attraction that honours the LGBTI community would be a short-sighted and mean-spirited move,” Mr Greenwich said on Tuesday.
“We need to do everything we can to show Sydney celebrates our gay and lesbian community.”
The MP also went on to criticise claims that the crossing was unsafe, saying that those claims were “not backed up by any facts or evidence.”
He went on to say that the crossing was important in light of the “policing incidents” at the 2013 gay pride parade.
Following Mardi Gras, reports emerged around a video that police had allegedly used unnecessary force at the event. A video and several witness accounts alleging police violence at the event also came to light.
In the four minute video, Jamie Jackson is detained by police, while others, including the person making the video, attempt to get the badge number of the officer involved.
A second video published online showed 18 year-old Jackson resisting arrest, and kicking out at the policeman trying to subdue him.
Two other internal investigations have been launched into separate incidents which took place at the event. One man claims he was ordered to strip naked during a drug search in full view of bystanders.
Police have now promised to improve procedures for the 2014 Mardi Gras.