A coalition of more than 100 LGBTI groups is organizing a protest march on the same day as New York City Pride in June.
The Queer Liberation March will counter a pride parade they say has become too money-centric and will be devoid of police or corporate sponsors.
The ‘rebellion’ will commence at the Stonewall Inn in honor of the rebellion that took place 50 years ago, organizers told a press event on Tuesday (14 May).
It will also mimic the route of the first march in 1970, which covered 51 blocks from Christopher Street to Central Park.
A spokesperson for the Reclaim Pride Coalition said organizers were ‘offended’ by over-policing and corporate sponsors of NYC Pride.
He said this excluded the most marginalized members of the community.
‘We are reclaiming Pride by building this march and building a movement that rallies in the spirit of solidarity and coalition to fight back against corporate greed and state oppression,’ said Colin Ashley.
Ellen Shumsky, an original member of the Gay Liberation Front, said they had lost the feeling of the first march.
‘When I see the parade now — the Mardi Gras … and there’s all these commercial floats and advertisements, it’s a little bit upsetting and sickening’ she said.
New York is the official host of WorldPride this year. Pride events span the whole month, culminating in the NYC Pride March on Sunday 30 June.
It will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
The counter-march, which is scheduled to end in a rally in Central Park, may well be the largest counter-demonstration to NYC Pride in history.
Ashley said they had approached organizers of NYC Pride to ‘return the march to the people’.
‘They couldn’t see it’ he told press at the launch event.
Author: Rik Glauert
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