December 13, 2018
Police on parade causes rainbow trauma
A supporter of the ban on uniformed police at the Auckland Pride march is rejecting criticism from Manurewa MP Louisa Wall their protest is counterproductive.
Laura O’Connell Rapira heads Action Station, which is running a crowdfunding campaign that has so far raised almost $30,000 for the three- week Pride festival to make up for some of what was lost by corporate sponsors pulling out.
She says having the parade full of marching police or corporate billboards on floats doesn’t make vulnerable people feel safe or included.
"There are survivors of sexual and domestic violence within the rainbow community who have gone to police trying to get help only to find they were not able to get the support that they needed so seeing uniformed police in the parade was for them quite retraumatising in a space they thought was meant to be theirs," she says.
Laura O’Connell Rapira says there have been similar debates in London, Minneapolis and several Canadian cities where Rainbow communities have asked police not to march.
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