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Protest action unacceptable says Ritchie

Mon 23 Feb 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Karen Ritchie A longtime-activist for the equal rights of sexual minorities and sex workers has slammed the group which broke into Saturday night's Auckland Pride Parade, saying the action was "totally unacceptable." "There are times and places to protest for your rights but this wasn't one of them" says Karen Ritchie, who was to the forefront of the campaign to decriminalise prostitution and who heads up the Cartier Charitable Trust and the K'Rd Safety group. "We sympathise with the need to end suppression and denigration of different genders but surely there can be a time to celebrate?" Ritchie says she wished the protesters had used the parade as a vehicle to convey their message like other groups did. "In many ways the protesters should have been supporting the parade." Watching the parade from the Glamstand when the protest action took place on the road and the protesters were moved back through the barriers and into the adjacent Glamstand, Ritchie says she was not impressed with "one young man in particular who seemed to be part of the protest and who kept rushing up to people challenging them and filming their reaction. "He was harassing everyone around him and was anti anybody that was trying to deal with the injured women in the Glamstand area." Ritchie says that during the heated and difficult years of the campaign for legalisation of prostitution "you didn't see us bursting into the Hero parade, that would have been counterproductive."    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 23rd February 2015 - 2:06pm

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