Protesters Bring Capital Pride Parade to a Halt to End Participation of Institutions that Harm Historically Marginalized LGBTQ2S Communities, Demand Pride Planning Leadership Center the Marginalized
No Justice No Pride Demands Capital Pride Sever Ties with Private Prisons, Police, Pipelines and Weapons Manufacturers
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WASHINGTON, DC — DC’s queer and trans community is no longer willing to accept that Pride isn’t possible without support from deeply problematic corporate sponsors. Capital Pride has consistently demonstrated that it is more interested in accommodating the interests of Metropolitan police and of corporate sponsors than it is in supporting the very communities it supposedly represents.
Because of the current political climate and in response to years of being dismissed and ignored by Capital Pride, members of Washington, DC’s queer and trans community took direct action on Saturday, June 10, blocking the Capital Pride parade.
Similar to other protests at Pride events around the country, members of No Justice No Pride, an ad-hoc coalition of local organizers, brought the parade to halt, offering a different vision for what LGBTQ Pride looks like and demanding that the Capital Pride board bar the participation of institutions that harm LGBTQ2S communities, specifically naming metropolitan police as well as corporations who profit from pipelines and war.
The group’s vision and demands are available at http://nojusticenopride.org/#vision
“We deserve to celebrate Pride without being forced alongside the Police who kill us,” says Angela Peoples, one of the participants. “Pride should be a haven for the entire LGBTQ community. The Capital Pride Board has shown who it’s prioritizing. No Justice No Pride is for everyone who has previously been excluded and for a different vision of what this event could and should be.”
Today’s direct action comes after many attempts, this year and in years past, to get Capital Pride’s executive leadership to address the contradiction between including corporations that profit from harming LGBTQ2S communities and the police who jail Trans and LGBQ2S people of color being invited to march in what is supposed to be a celebration for the people they target.
“Capital Pride’s list of sponsors reads like a who’s who of Native genocide: FBI, NSA, CIA, Wells Fargo, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Federal Bureau of Prisons,” explains Jen Deerinwater, a participant with No Justice No Pride and two spirit member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. “Capital Pride’s Board members claim that the Dakota Access Pipeline and America’s neglect and abuse of Native people aren’t issues that impact the LGBTQ2S community. But I am a member of both the Queer and Native communities. Do the lives of LGBTQ2S Natives not matter? These institutions have wreaked havoc on Indigenous communities through pollution and theft of our sacred lands and the criminalization of our very beings.”
“Corporations that desecrate Native land, manufacture weapons and support private prisons — and law enforcement agencies that disproportionately harass, kill, and arrest queer and trans people of color — cannot be considered LGBT “allies” unless you believe that Black, latinx, Muslim, and indigenous queer, trans and two spirit individuals aren’t actually part of the LGBT community,” said Emmelia Talarico, a participant with No Justice No Pride.
No Justice No Pride is an ad-hoc collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia. We exist to end the LGBT movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize queer and trans individuals. Our members are black, brown, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, bisexual, indigenous, two-spirit, formerly incarcerated, disabled, white allies and together we recognize that there can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.
Sight the petition in solidarity with No Justice No Pride at www.nojusticenopride.org.