Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Featured

No Justice, No Pride: Coalitions Shut Down Pride Parades

No Justice, No Pride: Coalitions Shut Down Pride Parades

Seattle, WA – At Seattle’s annual Pride Parade on Sunday, a multi- racial coalition of concerned two spirit, trans and queer people shut down the parade.

Prior to the parade, the coalition released a statement of purpose calling on others to join them, “We are here to transform the Seattle Pride Parade and create a space where our Pride cannot be bought by corporations and government entities that harm us and our communities. This is a space where Pride and Justice exist together with an unquestionable commitment to the dignity and humanity of ALL two spirit, queer, and trans people.”

Photo by Block the Bunker

In a nod of solidarity to the NoDAPL movement, the coalition called out the Seattle Pride committee for taking sponsorship from Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America. All three banks financed the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, and are funding recently approved Tar Sands pipelines.

They state, “We are not proud of Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, and Bank of America’s participation in Indigenous genocide and investment in projects that pillage the land and contribute to climate change… We are against corporations marching for human rights who are directly participating in assaults on human rights.”

Seattle has been in the forefront of the Indigenous divestment movement targeting banks funding Bakken and Tar Sands pipelines and affiliated projects.

The coalition also drew attention to the recent police killing of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old African American pregnant mother of four. An alter was constructed in the middle of the parade to pay honor to her.

Alter for Charleena Lyles. Photo by Block the Bunker.

In Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter shut down the Pride Parade over the committee allowing uniformed police officers to march in the parade. The decision comes on the heels of the high profile acquittal of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who murdered Phiando Castile.

In June, the Washington DC Pride Parade was stopped by a blockade furious over Wells Fargo sponsorship.

Statement from No Justice, No Pride Seattle coalition

Today, we invite you to build with us, toward a pride that centers justice. We are an autonomous, multiracial group of concerned two spirit, trans and queer people. We are here to transform the Seattle Pride Parade and create a space where our Pride cannot be bought by corporations and government entities that harm us and our communities. This is a space where Pride and Justice exist together with an unquestionable commitment to the dignity and humanity of ALL two spirit, queer, and trans people. This action is in solidarity with #NoJusticeNoPride actions from across the country.

We are broken hearted and enraged about the death of Charleena Lyles and the incredible amount of Black and Brown people being murdered and harmed by the police. We feel betrayed by the corporatization of pride. As two spirit, queer and trans people…

● We are not proud of Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, and Bank of America’s participation in Indigenous genocide and investment in projects that pillage the land and contribute to climate change.

● We are not proud of governments like King County that choose caging our disproportionately Black and Brown youth over investing in their futures.

● We are not proud of medical establishments like UW Medicine and Kaiser Permanente that make it optional for providers to be queer and trans competent.

● We are not proud of corporations like Boeing that assemble war machines that lead to the deaths of Black, Brown, queer and trans people all over the world.

● We are not proud of corporations like Microsoft and Amazon that are in large part responsible for gentrifying this city and displacing Black, Brown, queer, trans, and disabled people.

● We are not proud of the Seattle Police Department, which enacts police terrorism on communities of color, which makes many in our community afraid for our lives.

We are against corporations marching for human rights who are directly participating in assaults on human rights.

We do not buy into Seattle Pride’s vision of LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, which gives a pass to companies and governments to make money off of poisoning people, locking people up, and paying people unlivable wages. At the same time, we are in solidarity with workers at these companies and look forward to working together to build toward a world where we are all free.

Our pride cannot be bought.

We invite you to join us in creating a world NOW, one where pride is always connected to justice and dignity for ALL two spirit, queer and trans people. We are here to build an altar. We are here to recreate the space that is stolen from us over and over again. We are here to honor the first people of this land, the Duwamish people, who have been here since time immemorial. We are here to honor the original intent of our trans ancestors Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson who initiated the first pride, a movement that knows none of us are free until we are all free. We are here to build an altar to the future we are already creating. We will have pride when Seattle Pride celebrations unquestioningly embody the knowledge that Black lives matter, that Immigrant lives matter, that Muslim lives matter, that Indigenous lives matter, that the lives of future queer and trans people who will inherit this earth matter.

This requires Seattle Pride to act now and bar harmful corporate and governmental entities from Pride participation.Our survival and our thriving is not optional. We know Justice and Pride must exist together.

Build with us toward a Pride that centers Justice

By Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)

Matt Remle (Lakota) is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire. @wakiyan7