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Canberra bouldering gym under fire over racist event where non-White climbers get discounts

A Canberra bouldering gym has been slammed for holding a monthly “climbers of colour social night” where White customers pay twice as much.

BlocHaus Bouldering Canberra in Fyshwick states on their website that the event, held on the first Monday of every month, “welcomes First Nations, Bla(c)k [sic] folks and People-of-Colour” and charges people from those groups $16 rather than $31 for entry and shoe hire.

One surprised White customer, who described himself “pretty progressive” reported feeling uncomfortable about being charged more due to his skin colour.

“I’m not the most well off financially and didn’t seem to be doing any better than the people given a discount. It felt absurd, like I was witnessing one those memes of people presenting their White privilege card and getting special things (I know that’s not how White privilege presents obviously),” he wrote on Reddit.

“I thought maybe this was targeted at me in some attempt to teach me how racism feels because I’m White.”

Anglo-Celtic advocacy group the British Australian Community condemned the gym in a thread on X, saying: “The BAC strongly condemns these Anglophobic, policies which disadvantage White Australians.”

“This latest act of Anglophobia demonstrates once again the anti-White bias of multiculturalism. The Commonwealth favours minorities instead of the majority Anglo culture that created it,” a spokesperson told Noticer News.

“We maintain that people should be able to have freedom of association. However, it shows the hypocrisy of the establishment and the left in failing to criticise this particular type of discrimination.”

Most Reddit users were critical of the policy, with one calling it “blatant in your face racism” while another said “this is almost unfathomable. If there was an alternative I would not return to the venue. It is wrong.”

The venue also gives a 20% discount to “gender diverse folks and all women, cis and trans inclusive” every Friday after 5pm, and hosts an LGBTQ+ social night which is open to “rainbow, trans, questioning, still deciding and allies“.

The “climbers of colour” event appears to be organised by Affinity Initiative, a group aiming to “increase accessibility to the outdoor rock climbing industry through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for womxn [sic]-of-colour”, and which does not allow White members.

BlocHaus Bouldering Canberra were contacted for comment.

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