FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 7.1.2019
Contact: Terry Roethlein, 212-727-8674
Contact: Natalie James, 917-860-1571
Queer Liberation March Draws 45,000 into the Streets Without Corporations or Police Contingent
New York, NY--July 1, 2019--Yesterday the Queer Liberation March drew at least 45,000 community members into the streets of Manhattan for a highly political, corporation-free and minimally policed grassroots action.
Members of the Reclaim Pride Coalition, who organized the event, said the March and following Rally were so successful because they satisfied a longstanding hunger for an event that renounced the commercialization and mainstreaming of Pride. Crucially, the events also addressed community concerns such as problematic policing and systemic violence against the most marginalized members of the community.
The March left Sheridan Square in the West Village around 9:30 a.m. and proceeded up an unbarricaded Sixth Avenue to Bryant Park, where a massive second wave of marchers joined in. The crowd of thousands, festooned with costumes, protest signs and banners voicing a multitude of social and economic justice issues arrived at Central Park’s Great Lawn around 1 p.m. and heard politically passionate speeches from eighteen speakers.
Photos from the March and Rally are available here and video of the Rally is available here.
Highlights from the speeches included lawyer and trans activist Cecilia Gentili saying, “It’s not Pride until the lives of sex workers are protected. To the ‘feminists’ who call for criminalization in the name of feminism—that shit doesn’t work.”
Janus Rose read a statement from Chelsea Manning, the trans woman and Iraq War whistleblower who is currently incarcerated for refusing to testify before a grand jury: “We are here today because we know that no matter how much they claim otherwise, the forces of capitalism, colonialism, and white supremacy have always – and will always – work against queer and trans justice. We are here because we know that rainbow-branded storefronts are not signs of acceptance, but of oppression with better marketing. We are here because we know there should be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.”
Other speakers at the rally included: Larry Kramer, Jason L. Walker, Amir Ashour, Topher González Ávila, Olympia Sudan, Lydia X. Z. Brown, Keinon Carter, Staceyann Chin, Gay Liberation Front members, Masha Gessen, Blair Imani, Regan de Loggans, Edafe Okporo, Pamela Sneed, LaLa Zannell, Cindy Wiesner. Marga Gomez emceed and performers included: Betty, Justin Vivian Bond, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, Kevin Aviance and Xavier and Cassondra James.