Anti-Corporate Protesters Plan Action for NYC March

Group That Interrupted D.C. Pride Plans Action for NYC March
No Justice No Pride at its Washington protest

Organizers allied with the group that interrupted the Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C., June 10 are planning an action for the New York City Pride March, set for next Sunday.

Hoods4Justice, which sees Pride events as too corporate and insufficiently inclusive of marginalized people, isn’t saying exactly what’s planned but will definitely have a presence,.

“We will put our foot down to the ground, rooted to the ground and have clear visibility,” Michael Basillas, an organizer with Hoods4Justice, told USA Today. “Before it became a parade, it became a movement. And it still is a movement.”

The USA Today report identified Basillas as a member of No Justice No Pride, which blocked the Capital Pride Parade and forced its rerouting. It also said No Justice No Pride was heading up the New York action, and an earlier version of this story repeated that information. However, an activist with No Justice No Pride told The Advocate that the New York protest is being organized by Hoods4Justice. 

“While No Justice No Pride in DC is supportive of actions they are taking to make themselves heard at NYC pride, we think it’s important that any actions in New York are led by organizers who live in New York,” wrote No Justice No Pride communications coordinator Drew Ambroglia in an email to The Advocate. “We’ve supported Hoods4Justice’s actions by providing our logos and some help crafting demands, but have limited involvement beyond that.” Other groups are organizing similar actions in cities around the country, Ambroglia said. No Justice No Pride clarified the relationship in a Facebook post.

In any case, the demands being put forth in New York are much the same as those made in Washington: putting transgender and indigenous people in decision-making positions, plus increasing the role of other historically marginalized populations; ending the practice of having a police contingent in the march; and ending sponsorship by companies that have a negative impact on LGBT and other marginalized people.

“This movement has come from a point of exhaustion and frustration — from queer and trans black and brown people and other marginalized communities who have felt that their experiences and their truths have been ... dismissed,” Emmelia Talarico, an organizer with No Justice No Pride in Washington, told USA Today.

In D.C., officials with the Capital Pride Alliance said they would “look at all the issues that have been raised” by No Justice No Peace and reassess standards for corporate sponsorship. But a Washington Blade editorial contended that the presence of police and corporations is not necessarily negative — LGBT activists have fought for years to gain the support of these entities.

Capital Pride board president Bernie Delia made the same point, speaking to USA Today. "We also have to recognize that many of the strides we have made has been because the business community has helped for equality and equal treatment," Delia said.

Pride observances have been particularly political this year, with organizers noting the need to resist the regressive agenda pushed by Donald Trump. In Los Angeles, the Pride parade was replaced with a protest march, and D.C.’s parade was followed by a march the next day. In New York City, groups dedicated to resisting Trump will have a prominent role in the Pride March (it has traditionally been characterized as a march rather than a parade), including a contingent in the lead.

But organizers around the nation point out that Pride events have always been political — they started as anniversary remembrances of June 1969’s  Stonewall riots in New York, and they have always included calls for LGBT equality. “Pride in general was born out of protest,” New York Pride organizer Sue Doster told The New York Times.

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