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Queer the night! Hundreds march in Wellington


Between 600-800 people were on the Queer the Night march in Wellington on Thursday night. The march was a response to recent violent attacks on members of the queer community.

Attacks based on an individual’s perceived sexuality or gender are an attack on us all. The intention is to rein in our various identities and orientations, to keep us off the streets and in the closets. Its intent is to make queer and trans-people live in fear. We do not intend to help maintain this order. The only real way to battle community violence is through community action.

Links: Dominion Post | The Hand Mirror | Video | Queer the Night

Queer activist Kassie Hartendorp says “the march is not just about fear of being attacked on the street, but also the institutionalised homophobia and transphobia in our society. This march is about the fear of bullying in our schools. The discrimination trans-people face in the workplace. The fear of being shunned by our friends and rejected by our families. To varying degrees, these issues affect us all on a day to day basis.”

Everyone has the right to express and explore their queerness without barriers—whether religious upbringing, economic or legal restriction, or fists and bottles on the streets.

Our message to the queer community and our allies is that before we can make progress against homophobia we need to get organised. It was only through collective action that we achieved homosexual law reform – and these reforms did not go nearly far enough.

Kassie Hartendorp went on to say “the only way to eliminate homophobia and transphobia is to organise for struggle. If we want equality and a society where we live without fear, we have to be prepared to fight for it.”

To this end, a public meeting discussing “homophobia, transphobia and how we respond” is being held a week after the march, at 7:00pm on Thursday 16 June at Trades Hall (126 Vivian St). This meeting is open to all supporters.


RiseUp resists US anti-queer churches

Kia ora

Good energy on the march the other night, and pretty well received by the folks on the streets. Organisers, and other participants, might be interested in how queer pride activism is being received in the US.

Militant action in Michigan, US, by queer group Bash Back, resulted in the Alliance Defence Fund attempting to get personal information about Bash Back activists from the ISPs who host their email accounts. Google and other corporate ISPs bowed down and handed over the activists' private information. Only activist host fought back, establishing a legal precedent under US law that people have the same right to anonymous free speech online that they do in other media.