This is a strange (read queer and unacceptable) way of getting “justice”.
A group called “Queers Against Justice” has claimed responsibility for hurling pink paint at an ANZ GayTM which was installed on Ponsonby Road for the Auckland Pride Festival.
The group says it targeted the GayTM to draw attention to “the commercialisation of the Pride Festival” and “the lack of representation of bodies that counter the racist, classist and cis-biased nature of Pride”.
It says it also wanted to highlight working conditions for ANZ staff.
The group claims the vandalism was not homophobic, but a protesting of “pinkwashing”, saying they left a poster at the site stating so.
“Pinkwashing, a term we defined and outlined in the attached poster, describes the way that institutions co-opt LGBT struggles to distract from and disguise unethical behaviour,” they said.
The protesters say they are disheartened that the symbolic pinkwashing of the GayTM was made out to be homophobia, and “has been manipulated into an act of hatred and complicity”.
It’s encouraging “all queer subjects to remember that, despite the gains of Pride, discrimination will continue to exist for many others both outside and within our community and what would truly create a semblance of pride is the dismantling of all hatred”, they said.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that the Ponsonby and Avondale police stations were also vandalised with paint.
The Ponsonby Rd ANZ branch is home to one of four GayTMs in the country – ATM machines transformed by the bank with vibrant colours and rhinestones.
They were first introduced by ANZ Australia last year to celebrate the Sydney Mardi Gras and were commissioned in New Zealand as part of the bank’s diversity programme, with the proceeds from the use of non-ANZ customer cards being donated to OUTline, a not-for-profit counselling service that supports people dealing with gender and sexuality issues.
ANZ, who said the matter was with police, splashed the correct message: “Vandalism, is never okay.”