A physical scuffle broke out at a meeting of the Auckland rainbow community to discuss the ban on uniformed police marching in the city’s 2019 Pride Parade.
Before the start of the meeting, an independent facilitator on behalf of the Pride board, also asked media if they had taken any notes and told them to leave the meeting at Grey Lynn Community Centre on Sunday night, which was attended by about 250 people.
So their first step is to ban the media.
A number of attendees walked out when the scuffle broke out between an older man and a founder People Against Prisons Aotearoa. Its “No Pride In Prisons” group has been advocating for police to be excluded from the parade.
So basically this fringe group has taken over the Pride Festival to impose its extreme views on everyone. This group wants all prisons abolished as they are a barrier to social justice!
Another attendee, who requested not to be named in fear of the repercussions, told Stuff the meeting was a farce from start to finish.
“I couldn’t see any good coming out of it,” he said. “They obviously wildly underestimated the number of people who were going to attend and the facilitator was wildly unprepared for dealing with a group that size.”
“At one point somebody said, is there any chance the board will change their minds about the decision because of this meeting? And the chair said ‘no we won’t’, roughly 15 people walked out.”
So the Chair said the meeting was window dressing as their minds were made up.
Last week, the board said that the decision to refuse uniformed police officers from participating in the parade was made for the safety of members of the LGBTQI+ community.
Safety has become an Orwellian term. People use it as a weapon against people, institutions or speech they don’t like. It is meant to be a trump card, because how can you argue against safety.
But often it is a nonsense.
Having Police in uniform in the Pride Parade doesn’t actually make anyone feel unsafe. Some people don’t like the Police and don’t like having them included, but that is different to unsafe.
Feeling unsafe is what you feel when home alone and you hear someone breaking into your house. Unsafe is what you feel if walking home alone and there is someone following you. Unsafe is what you feel when some guy high on P is threatening to kill you.
In a Facebook post made while the meeting was still underway, Rainbow Tick chief executive Michael Stevens said organisers had underestimated the number of people wanting to attend, and the meeting had been “a shambles”.
Stevens said the Pride Board had “totally underestimated the depth of division they’d created with their decision. If that’s how they’re running the Pride Parade then God help them”.
Sadly for those who enjoy the Pride Parade, it is probably going to die off, just like Hero did before it. Rather than a march to celebrate inclusion, the board have turned it into a march to enforce exclusion.