A pro-refugee float was pushed back in the Mardi Gras parade to separate them from the Rainbow Labor float, after a protest earlier in the evening sparked security concerns.
The two floats, with matching red shirts but very different political objectives, were initially planned to be right next to each other in the parade.
But when the parade set off, they were separated by four floats. Here's how it played out.
In the early evening, the No Pride In Detention (NPID) marchers protested a press conference with Labor leader Bill Shorten and deputy Tanya Plibersek.
The marchers chanted "We're here, we're queer, refugees are welcome here" and held up signs as they boisterously surrounded the press conference.
About an hour later, the No Pride In Detention group was approached by Mardi Gras parade producer Anthony Russell.
In video filmed by one of the NPID marchers, Russell is seen telling float marshall Ed McMahon that the float had "one more chance" before they were turfed.
“If I bring Bill Shorten out here now, and one of you people say something to him, you are not in the fucking parade. Do you understand that?” Russell says in the video.
“If you can’t act like a normal human being all in a parade together, you’re out!”
Around that time, riot police joined the normal NSW police presence. One marcher said they accompanied the the No Pride In Detention float for several hours.
After the Rainbow Labor float moved off onto Oxford Street for the parade, the NPID float was asked to stand off to the side and wait for about four floats to go in front of them. Then they joined the parade and marched as usual.
So why did all this happen?
In a statement, the No Pride In Detention group accused Shorten and the Rainbow Labor float of pushing for the group to be expelled from the parade.
"Labor officials allegedly asked Mardi Gras to remove 'No Pride In Detention' from their location," the statement reads.
"As a compromise, we were moved back while accompanied by an extra contingent of heavily armed riot police."
However, Shorten's office denied Labor had anything to do with the NPID float being moved or threatened with not marching.
"Given the significance of the occasion, we were keen to ensure everyone was able to march," a spokesperson for Shorten's office told BuzzFeed News.
The spokesperson said the decision was made by either Mardi Gras organisers or the police.
"You’ll have to speak to the organisers/police about any concerns they had as they’re responsible for logistics."
A statement from Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras confirmed the decision to move the float was made after a request from NSW Police.
"Just before the Parade began, it was reported to parade officials by NSW Police that there was an unacceptable level of harassment and offensive comments from the No Pride in Detention float members being directed towards members of the Rainbow Labor float, including leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten and deputy leader of the opposition, Tanya Plibersek," the statement read.
"The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras strongly believe the No Pride in Detention Float has a very important message to send, and without wanting the police to intervene and remove the float from the parade, a last minute decision to reshuffle the run order was made."
"At the time, this was considered the best course of action to ensure both parties were able to march and spread their individual messages to the world while maintaining safety for all marchers."
"The production and ordering of the Parade is a highly complex logistical feat. The level of harassment reported to parade officials, just prior to 12,500 people commencing to march along Oxford Street, meant that tensions were understandably high."
The pro-refugee movement has been agitating within Labor since the party's adoption of asylum seeker boat turnbacks last year.
Protestors stormed the stage at the ALP national conference during a tense debate about the issue, with some members of the party's left-faction furious that it's taken up the policies of the current coalition government.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at email@example.com.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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