Political Action Will Be A Strong Theme at NYC Pride
This year resistance groups protesting the Republican establishment will march at the front of the parade with a strong message against current government policy. Heritage of Pride, which produces New York’s Pride Parade, the rally and other pride parties and events, has acceded to their requests to be at the forefront of the gay pride march.
“I’m extremely proud of the people who came out to raise their voices about this, and I think it’s emblematic of the people who are going to show up proudly on June 25,” Ken Kidd, the lead organizer of the effort to get the resistance groups at the front of the parade, told Gay City News.
The Sirens Women’s Motorcycle Club of New York City will lead the 48th NYC Pride march, as they have since 1986. They will be followed by the parade’s grand marshals: The ACLU, Brooke Guinan, Krishna Stone and Geng Le. Next will be the Heritage of Pride float followed by the resistance groups.
NYC Pride will be televised live on ABC for the first time ever. This will give resistance groups free access to public broadcast media.
Resistance Groups Will Be Prominent at NYC Pride
Activist groups will include Rise + Resist, ACT UP, United Thru Action, and Gays Against Guns. At first march organizers did not want to add the large resistance groups. “Our current march route is at capacity,” said Sue Doster, who heads strategic planning for Heritage of Pride, at the March 21 planning meeting. “You can’t add a half million people to that march and keep it safe for everyone.”
However, the resistance groups would not take no for an answer and would take over the march regardless of the cooperation of the organizers. “One way or another, these resistance groups are going to take over this parade,” Cathy Marino-Thomas, the former head of Marriage Equality who is currently active in Gays Against Guns, told the HOP leadership at the March 13 meeting. “I predict that if there is no give here, this will be the first time there will be arrests.”
The NYC Pride march on the last Sunday in June, memorializes the 1969 Stonewall riots that gave birth to the modern LGBTQ rights movement. NYC Pride has wanted this to be more of a celebration while activists want to take it back its original form of protest and resistance.
In a statement, HOP wrote, “While no one group owned the resistance hashtag, it was clear that those in the room were capable of rallying peers to take action. This is why we feel confident in enabling the leadership present in those conversations to band together in the interest of reaching their goal of a strong message of resistance to the current political leadership… Recognizing these groups’ request that a strong element of non-celebratory protest be included in the front section of the March, we will place the collective group within the lead section of the 2017 event.”