Today NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller hosted an event for 78ers where he gave an official apology of behalf of the Police Force for the actions of Police 40 years ago.
On 24th June 1978, Police violently attacked participants at the first Mardi Gras parade. There were multiple arrests on the night and in the following months, with a total of 178 people arrested.
Today, five 78ers gave powerful speeches that brought tears to the eyes of audience members which included around 60 78ers, carers and Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers.
In addition to an unreserved personal and official apology, Commissioner Fuller committed the Police Force to never repeating the abuse suffered by 78ers. Both Commissioner Fuller and Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell, who was the MC for the event, commented on how much they been affected by the stories of 78ers. Both thanked 78ers for "fighting for equal rights for LGBTIQ people and making NSW a more just and fair place to live today".
Apart from being a significant milestone in the history of our community, the apology was an essential step in the healing process for 78ers that still continues 40 years later.
- Written by SGLMG Board Member Robyn Kennedy
Watch NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller's apology to the 78ers below.