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Dykes On Bikes Melbourne Will Not Raise Money For Midsumma Festival

The decision was made due to community concerns.


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Dykes on Bikes Melbourne

Dykes on Bikes Melbourne (DOBM) have announced the group will no longer raise money for Midsumma Festival. The decision came after the organisation reviewed recent community concerns regarding Midsumma Festival’s partnership with News Corp.

The group will no longer allocate funds raised via their annual Pillions for Pride raffle to the organisation. The Pillions for Pride raffle has been running for three years following the previous organisers, Pride March Victoria, sought support from the community to help fund the event.

The raffle has raised more than $3,200 in the last two years with half the amount being allocated to Midsumma Festival and the other half allocated to Way Out and Minus 18.

DOBM membership had identified the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA) to receive funds alongside Midsumma in 2017 but will now allocated 100% of the funds raised to the ALGA.

The decision was not made lightly. DOBM believes that financially supporting an organisation in partnership with the employers of Bill Leak, Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine is not in the best interests of the LGBTI community.

Jo Bangles, DOBM President said, “Our club is a safe space for all of our members including our rainbow families. Many of our members have children and feel that aligning ourselves with Midsumma and News Corp would contradict our values.

“We are a community organisation and will still lead Pride March in 2017 as a sign of solidarity with the LGBTI community. We take our role in getting the crowd ready for the march and clearing the route from bad energy seriously and feel that boycotting the 2017 march would let too many people down.

“Dykes on Bikes lead pride marches all over the world and this tradition is too important to be broken.”

2017 will mark the 22nd Pride March in Victoria and the third with Midsumma in charge of the event.

DOBM highlighted the changes they have witnessed with Bangles saying, “Pride March was always about the community coming together to fight for equal rights, it doesn’t feel like a protest march anymore, it’s too polished and heading in a corporate direction. It’s time the LGBTI community took back the march.” 

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