NYC Queer Liberation March honors Black lives
New York, NY – Over 10,000 people gathered in New York City for the second annual Queer Liberation March on June 28. The Queer Liberation March was first organized in 2019 as an anti-corporate alternative to the main Pride March. This year, the theme of the march was standing in solidarity with Black lives and against police brutality, demanding a 50% reduction of the NYPD’s budget and police force. Black trans people were especially honored, due to the increased targeting they face by police and for hate crimes. The march was organized by the Reclaim Pride Coalition.
The march met at Foley Square with many different contingents present. The crowd started marching at 1 p.m., passing by the city hall occupation to defund the police, and headed toward the West Village. The route was chosen to highlight significant points of LGBTQIA+ history, most notably the Stonewall Inn, the site of the Stonewall riots in 1969. The Stonewall riots occurred after police raided the gay bar and patrons and the community fought back. This was especially symbolic because the march was on the 51st anniversary of the riots.
The march ended at Washington Square Park, where there were speakers, food and music. Much like the Stonewall riots, the NYPD showed up to cause violence again. Protesters were suddenly grabbed, pepper sprayed, and arrested by police for alleged graffiti. The crowd surrounded the cop car, demanding they release the people inside, and chanted at them so that they would leave the park. The cops eventually left after people refused to move, and the crowd celebrated.
The day’s events showed that the police do not serve the people and can only be held accountable through community control via a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). For more information on how you can fight for a CPAC in New York, please contact New York Community Action Project at [email protected] or on our Facebook (facebook.com/nycommunityactionproject).