August 08, 2017
Prison abolition group expands remit
No Pride in Prisons is changing its name to People Against Prisons Aotearoa.
The organisation started by challenging prison officers marching in Auckland's Pride Parade, as a protest against the treatment of transgender inmates.
But spokesperson Emilie Rakete says it soon realised prisons were bad for everyone.
She says a major issue is the poor health services prisoners get, such as transgender inmates not being able to continue hormone therapy, which has long term health consequences.
"I've seen people who weren't given shoes until their feet swelled up so much they couldn't wear shoes any more. I've heard of people whose teeth rotted out of their heads and they had to get their cellmate to pull a tooth out. We can't just care about trans prisoners. We have to care about the treatment of every single person in prison because all of them are our whanau, all of them are our friends and they all deserve to be treated like people," Ms Rakete says.
The new acronym, PAPA, is a reminder that Papatuanuku underlies the struggle for mana motuhake and the nationwide liberation of Maori in Aotearoa.
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