New York City Pride to ban police from participating in events until 2025
17 May 2021, 17:32 | Updated: 28 May 2021, 11:15
"NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community."
New York City Pride has announced that it will ban law enforcement from participating in Pride events until 2025.
It has also announced that it will be transitioning to provide an "increased community-based security and first responders" while simultaneously taking steps to reduce NYPD presence at events.
The move comes following years of demands from activists who have argued that the march was too heavily policed and that the inclusion of cops in the parade is at odds with the values of queer liberation, particularly for it's BIPOC members, who face disproportionate levels of violence at the hands of police. Not to mention that the origins of NYC Pride go back to the Stonewall Riots, a rebellion against police brutality.
The decision is likely to put pressure on other Pride events around the world to ban the police from taking part in parades and other related events, an issue which has been hotly contested for many years in several major city.
In a statement on it's website, NYC pride said:
"NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate. The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason.
"NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community. The steps being taken by the organization challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change."
NYC Pride announces new policies to address the presence of law enforcement and NYPD at Pride events in New York. The steps being taken challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change. pic.twitter.com/DAVtJBtCSR— New York City Pride (@NYCPride) May 15, 2021
According to BuzzFeed News, an NYPD spokesperson said that the department was “disheartened” by the decision but would still plan to be present “to ensure traffic safety and good order during this huge, complex event.”
Groups representing LGBTQ+ officers, such as Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), have condemned the ban, believing it to be exclusionary to queer members of the force. However, many activists and regular NYC Pride attendees are praising the NYC Pride committee for taking this (long overdue, some would argue) stand.
All eyes now on you, London Pride...