Hobart artwork will mark mass gay arrests

Public artworks are planned for Australia's Salamanca Place to mark gay rights arrests in 1988

Hobart artwork will mark mass gay arrests
28 May 2012

Public artworks are planned for Hobart, Australia’s Salamanca Place to mark the controversial arrest of gay rights activists in the area in 1988.

The artwork in Tasmania’s state capital will be two LED light boxes, approximately 2m long and 20cm wide, and an interpretative sign. They will be installed on the pavement near the Parliament House lawns to commemorate the events.

In October 1988 a newly formed gay rights activist group set up a stall to gather signatures and to dispense information about the decriminalization of homosexuality to the public.

After receiving one complaint about the stall, Holbart City Council banned it and ordered that anyone supporting the stall to be arrested.

A massive 130 people were arrested defending the gay rights stall, which ultimately became the largest act of gay rights civil disobedience in Australian history.

The criminalization of homosexuality was finally overturned in Tasmanian in 1997, following the intervention of the United Nations and the federal government, becoming the last Australian state to decriminalize the law.

The installations are based on a concept by artist Justy Phillips, and one of the installations will include the words ‘In the wake of your courage I swim’, and the other the words ‘Forgive me for not holding you in my arms.’

Alderman John Freeman was the only councilor to vote against the artwork, which was unanimously endorsed by the council’s planning committee despite complaints from a Christian group that the artwork will be ‘divisive.’

Rodney Croome, award winning Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian rights group spokesman and one of those arrested in October 1988 (see photo), has said: ‘Far from being “divisive” the artwork commemorates reconciliation, inclusion and tolerance, values which the overwhelming majority of Tasmanians hold dear.

‘The artwork is an important way to commemorate not just the arrests 24 years ago but also how far Tasmanian has come since then…It will be a symbol of how far we have come in being a more inclusive and tolerant society.’



No thumbnail available

Harry Derbidge launches unisex jewellery range

Gay ex TOWIE star excited to see people wearing his 'bling and sparkly' collection
No thumbnail available

Ellen DeGeneres gives wife Portia de Rossi a funny and moving TV birthday tribute

'The last eight years of my life have been the happiest, best years of my life'
No thumbnail available

Brighton Pride launches 2013 festival guide app

Brighton & Hove Pride have launched an Android and iPhone app guide to all of the events in the 2013 festival
No thumbnail available

Queen Elizabeth misses 'gay' speech, still expected to sign equal rights charter

Not all see signing as implicit support for gay rights and women's equality
No thumbnail available

California’s AIDS LifeCycle race raises record $14.2 million to fight HIV

2,755 participants from 44 US states and 18 countries have embarked on a seven day, 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and have already raised a record $14.2 million to fight HIV and AIDS
Did Russian homophobes plagarise their new 'flag for straights'?

Did Russian homophobes plagarise their new 'flag for straights'?

The Moscow branch of the party headed by Vladimir Putin 'created' the flag
No thumbnail available

Austrian High Court to rule on child support payments for gay couples

Two lesbian couples are challenging the country's laws on joint child support benefits
No thumbnail available

Atlanta police tell gay teens 'It Gets Better'

Atlanta Police Department make It Gets Better video, three years after being accused of harrassment over raiding a gay bar
No thumbnail available

Sweden ends forced sterilization of trans

Sweden repeals law which meant a trans person must be sterilized to have their gender change recognized legally
No thumbnail available