A group in New Zealand claimed responsibility for hurling paint at a GayTM to protest ‘pinkwashing’.
A group called ‘Queers Against Justice’ claimed responsibility for the action. ANZ installed the GayTM 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 denies descriptions of their action as homophobic. They describe the protest s against ‘pinkwashing’ and state 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.”
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.”
Police stations also vandalised
A police spokeswoman confirmed protesters also vandalised Ponsonby and Avondale police stations with the same 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. ANZ then commissioned one in New Zealand as part of the bank’s diversity programme. The bank donates proceeds from the use of non-ANZ customer cards to OUTline. The not-for-profit counselling service supports people dealing with gender and sexuality issues.
ANZ, who said the matter was with the police and splashed a new message: “Vandalism, is never okay.”
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