Statement from Auckland Pride on Today's Counterprotest
Tāmaki Makaurau demonstrated its values today and stood up to the vile anti-trans hatred of Posie Parker. The thousands and thousands of Aucklanders who came out to stand in solidarity with trans communities sent a clear message to Parker, her supporters and the general public that intolerance will not be tolerated here.
Parker’s subsequent withdrawal from her Wellington event demonstrates the power of community organising and solidarity in showing her that her hateful views are not welcome here. This news will be a relief to many in our communities targeted by her hatred.
Auckland Pride unequivocally stands by peaceful protest as a means of counter protest, and does not endorse any physical violence, regardless of the extent of injury caused.
There is a narrative quickly taking hold amongst anti-trans groups and individuals that Parker abandoned her event because of violence from our community.
We reject this narrative. We are of the firm belief that the demonstration of unity, celebration, and acceptance alongside joyous music, chanting, and noise of 5,000 supporters was too loud to overcome and the reason for her departure - and not the actions of any one individual.
We also reject that there was any further physical threat from our community towards Parker. This is a baseless rumour that is being perpetrated by those who feel defeated by the events of today. We urge the media not to repeat these allegations without evidence.
Auckland Pride was not an official organiser of today’s counterprotest, and organisers consistently reiterated that the kaupapa was one of non-violence and repeatedly encouraged people to remain peaceful.
“Do not cause or incite violence, no matter how mad the other side may make you. Introducing violence into this protest will do nothing but harm our most marginalised communities” was clear in safety messaging from the Trans Liberation Alliance beforehand.
However, as a leading voice in the community on these matters and an experienced organiser of effective and peaceful events we can play a greater role in advising and supporting future protests and counter-protests. We have taken lessons from today about our need to play a greater role to ensure future events remain peaceful and non-violent, especially in a time of rising hatred globally towards rainbow communities.
While our community is in a celebratory mood today, we cannot forget that we have also glimpsed the scale of the challenge ahead of us in the weeks and months to come.
Auckland Pride, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Gender Minorities Aotearoa will make a decision this week about progressing our judicial review against the Minister of Immigration for his decision to let Posie Parker into the country in the first place.
For anyone who does not believe protection was necessary:
- Neo nazis were present at today’s protest in support of Posie Parker, alongside the far-right counterspin media.
- Posie Parker’s attendance also mobilised Destiny Church who were violent towards Minister Davidson, and violent towards counter-protestors on Queen Street and Aotea Square. Parker’s attendance unsurprisingly mobilised a coalition of hateful groups.
- Going into today, the Minister was made aware that this was likely and subsequently provided evidence of their expected attendance yesterday at the High Court. Justice Gendall agreed we clearly raised issues of public order yesterday.