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People Against Prisons Aotearoa to join Auckland Pride March

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA) will be marching in Auckland Pride today. PAPA, formerly known as No Pride in Prisons, was formed by LGBTQ+ young people in response to Police and Corrections marching in the Auckland Pride Parade in 2015.

"Since 2016, we have opened up to include non-LGBTQ+ members, but PAPA remains heavily involved in the community," says PAPA spokesperson Emilie Rākete. "We will be showing our support for the LGBTQ+ community by joining the march this year."

Last year, the Auckland Pride Board requested that the Police not march in uniform. The Police rejected those terms and withdrew its application to march in the Auckland Pride Parade.

"Every year, Māori become more and more likely than Pākehā to be subjected to violence by the Police. Our position is that Police violence statistics show a clear trend of racial discrimination by the Police, and that they have no place in Pride whatsoever," says Rākete.

"However, we understand that some LGBTQ+ people would like the Police to be involved despite its racism, and we supported Pride’s offer of a compromise to the Police to allow officers to march out of uniform. We are disappointed that the Police instead chose to reject it"

"The Police withdrawal from Pride demonstrates that the institution is unwilling to treat the LGBTQ+ community’s concerns about violence seriously," says Rākete. "The Police was happy to participate in Pride when it was an easy public relations outing. Now that a mass movement of LGBTQ+ people is calling on them for accountability, the Police has lost interest."

"Until Police violence statistics reflect a demonstrable reduction in violence against Māori, this movement will not go away."

"Auckland Pride has taken a public position on racist police violence. PAPA commends their courage, and is proud to participate in the march today."

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