With the near certainty of NZ Police being allowed to march in this year’s Pride Parade, and the verdict still out on the Department of Corrections, No Pride In Prisons has responded with the green light on their boycott event.
“Police and Corrections officers have no place in any pride parade. Both of these institutions deal violence to marginalised groups, including queer and trans people” says Sophie Morgan of No Pride In Prisons, “It wasn’t long ago that the police were systematically beating and jailing people for engaging in non-normative sexuality and gender practices. The only reason that that changed is because thousands of people took to the streets and unapologetically demanded the decriminalisation of sodomy. It is not because the police have had a change of heart. The police are part of an oppressive institution which has no place being celebrated in a pride parade.”
What No Pride in Prisons wishes to achieve is change within institutions in New Zealand and across the world which vilifies trans prisoners, sometimes resulting in both physical and sexual assault. They believe that allowing the NZ Police and the Department of Corrections to march in the Pride Parade is condoning the behaviour which they are attempting to eradicate.
“The Department of Corrections’ placement and double-bunking policies lead directly to the rape of trans women in the its care. According to their own report released in 2015, the New Zealand Police use force against Māori at almost 8 times the rate they do Pākehā. That is a clear violation of Māori rights. If the Pride Board allows the police or corrections officers to march in the parade, it will be condoning this behaviour.”
The protest march will take place on the K’ Road over bridge on 20 February to coincide with the Pride Parade on Ponsonby Road at 5.30pm.