Eighty murders, thirty unsolved cases, thousands of assaults. In the 80s and 90s, a murderous, violent epidemic grips Sydney. The attackers are united by contempt and their targets; by their sexual identities. This is the story of how a wave of vicious crime engulfed a community but was invisible to most: a tale of police ineptitude, bungled investigations and a society riddled by homophobia. It stirs up old cases in the hope that new evidence will rise to the surface and bring peace and justice to the loved ones left behind.
Detectives in New South Wales, Australia have arrested and charged a man with the 1988 hate crime murder of American math scholar Scott Johnson.
The 27-year-old’s body was discovered on December 10, 1988 near Manly’s Blue Fish Point in Sydney. At the time, Johnson’s death was seen as symbolic of authorities’ willingness to overlook hate crimes in the gay community after the PhD student’s death was initially ruled a suicide.
Today, Sydney has a thriving and prominent gay community., but in the 1980’s, however, packs of young men roamed popular meeting places for gay men, intending to beat and rob them. Gay men were told to carry whistles to call for help if they were attacked.
About 100 protesters blocked the entrance to the Catch the Fire evangelical ministries in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam on Saturday morning, where the controversial World Congress of Families conference was scheduled to begin. Many speakers, including the American campaigner Angela Lanfranchi, who planned to speak on the thoroughly debunked link between breast cancer and abortion, were unable to get through the gates in their cars. Their path was blocked by protesters holding signs with slogans such as “Our bodies are our property” and “Women are not incubators”. More than 30 police officers formed their own barrier on the opposite side of the gate in the quiet street of Star Crescent, located in an industrial area. It forced attendees to trickle through the gates one by one as church security struggled to establish whether they had registered. The Monty Python satirical song Every Sperm is Sacred boomed from a sound system organised by protesters. The protests were vocal, but largely peaceful. Two protesters were arrested as others chanted “What’s the charge?”
One protester managed to sneak in as a registered guest, storming the stage and pouring fake blood over herself in front of NSW MP, the Reverend Fred Nile and his wife. “We don’t want your backyard abortions,” she yelled, before being marched out. Guests at the event were visibly rattled by the breach and turned to prayer as the woman was ushered outside. But despite ongoing protests at the gate throughout the day, the rest of the conference was incident free. Controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lafranchi was one of the headline acts, pushing her research suggesting a link between abortion and breast cancer. Reverend Nile, leader of the NSW Christian Democrats, called for more Christians to get involved in politics. And Paul Hanrahan, the executive director of Family Life International Australia, used his speech to suggest abortion was worse than terrorism in Syria. “Many people lately have been upset at the terrible atrocities being committed in the name of religion in Iraq and Syria and other places. Terrorists and terrorists’ kids holding severed heads is certainly gruesome. Answer me this: how is it worse?” he asked.
On a related note from September 26th – 28th the Family Research Council hate group will be running it’s own anti-gay conference called the Values Voter Summit which will be held at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. Perhaps this year some American LGBT activist will show up and make thier presence known that they will not stand for hate parading undering the guise of politics or religion. (Yes GetEQUAL I am talking to YOU!)
In response to the video posted here and on other websites yesterday shows Sydney Australia police brutally arresting and physically abusing 18-year-old Jamie Jackson at Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras, Sydney’s Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch has released information that the reason for Jacksons arrest stemmed from the fact that he used “offensive language”
“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.
Also troubling is the arresting officer’s order to the person filming to stop.”
In a report of a second police brutality gay activist Bryn Hutchinson said up to five police held him down and kicked him, after he ignored their instructions to not cross a road.
“I was kicked several times,” said Mr Hutchinson, the former convenor of Community Action Against Homophobia. “I was handcuffed and had my face pushed into the ground.
“I had a police officer leaning on me. I told him I couldn’t breathe. He said, ’If you can talk, you can breathe”.
Sydney LGBT activist groups are planning a march this Friday night and demanding an independent inquiry. Since yesterday more than 1500 people have responded to the march’s page on Facebook.
You can watch the video of this heinous brutality against Jamie Jackson by the Sydney Police by CLICKING HERE
Disturbing news out of Sydney, Australia as police have been accused of using heavy tactics and police brutality during last weekend’s Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras, which are being PROVED by a video uploaded to YouTube and has sparked an angry outcry for an a full formal police investigation and dismissal and criminal charges against the officers involved
The Australian gay news site Same Same reports on the story that one of that nights victim, shown in the video being savagely handled by police claims he was arrested for simply attempting to cross the road during the parade.
A witness at the scene with her two teenaged sisters says the violent actions of the officers involved left her younger siblings seriously traumatized. “They were crying while the police bashed the boy’s head into the cement,” she said. “It was horrible, disgusting behaviour.”
Another witness adds: “They picked him up by the throat and slammed him into the ground with his head hitting the ground that hard it sounded like a bowling ball hitting the ground,” she said. “This was while he was in handcuffs.”
Onlookers in the video can be heard protesting and alleging the man had been handled violently before the video started rolling. “We just saw you whack his head against the ground,” a woman can be heard to say. “His blood is on the ground”.
Another police officer instructs the person behind the camera to “stop filming, mate”. When asked why, the officer responds: “Cos I said”.