I deliberately chose Commerce Way this week because 10 years ago it was home to an event that some have referred to as Melbourne's own 'Stonewall'. Recently SBS showed a documentary called The Tasty Bust Reunion as part of their Storyline series:
The Tasty Bust Reunion, an insight into the 1994 raid of the Tasty nightclub in Melbourne, where hundreds of patrons were held for questioning for several hours and strip-searched, resulting in a class action suit against the police force.
463 patrons to be exact and those who were part of the class action suit received approximately $10,000 each.
While I think there are a number of differences between Tasty and Stonewall, there is no denying that the raid was a significant event in Melbourne's queer history and the win in court as a significant win for the queer community.
But the raid itself cost patrons their dignity, their beloved nightclub (which closed shortly after) and set a new low in police-queer community relations. While the patrons are still to receive an apology, moves by the Victorian Police in appointing Gay & Lesbian Liaison Officers within the force, and their presence (in uniform) in the march during Pride March are certainly a healing force.
More about the documentary can be found here.