Socialist Aotearoa members joined thousands of other Aucklanders marching in the first Gay Pride march in the city in twelve years. The first since Mayor John Banks pulled funding on the Hero Parade in 2002.
Labour, the Greens and Legalise Love marched in support of gay marriage. Floats and groups from across the queer community from school student groups to bars and roller derby thronged Ponsonby Road. The crowd went wild when dozens of queer soldiers, sailors and air force workers marched together. And a chorus remembering the victims of HIV/AIDS moved some to tears in the audience. Amnesty International members marched to highlight the persecution of gay people internationally.
Carrying placards calling for the release of Bradley Manning, Wikileaks whistleblower who is today on the 993rd day of incarceration, SA members marched in Pride 2013.
The judge ruling in his court martial yesterday ruled that Manning would not be able to present evidence relating to why he leaked the evidence.
Socialist Aotearoa unreservedly supports the right of everyone regardless of sexuality to marry. Revolutionary Russia was the first country in the world to allow gay marriage in 1917.
But today we marched with placards demanding Manning's release because as John Pilger powerfully wrote last year,
One of America's true heroes is the gay soldier Bradley Manning, the whistleblower alleged to have provided WikiLeaks with the epic evidence of American carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the Obama administration that smeared his homosexuality as weird, and it was Obama himself who declared a man convicted of no crime to be guilty. ....
The truth is that what matters to those who aspire to control our lives is not skin pigment or gender, or whether or not we are gay, but the class we serve. The goals are to ensure that we look inward on ourselves, not outward to others and never comprehend the sheer scale of undemocratic power, and to that we collaborate in isolating those who resist. This attrition of criminalising, brutalising and banning protest can too easily turn western democracies into states of fear.
SA helped bring the politics to pride. We are the red in the rainbow. Free Bradley Manning.