In Election Campaign’s Final Stretch, LGBTQ Activists Out and Loud

protests no more years
On August 27, as Donald Trump gave his acceptance speech, groups descended from a variety of New York locations on Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain with a very clear message for the Republicans.
Donna Aceto

In recent weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to plague the US, the focus on law enforcement abuse of Black Americans re-intensified with the August 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the presidential campaign moved into high gear with both parties’ conventions unfolding, LGBTQ activists and their allies were on the streets in New York for a wide array of actions.

Martin Quinn, who days before lost his father to COVID-19, addressed the March for the Dead, Fight for the Living action.Donna Aceto

On August 21, hundreds marched from the Barclays Center to the Brooklyn Bridge and into Lower Manhattan in a March for the Dead, Fight for the Living to bring attention to the continued COVID-19 crisis gripping the nation. The march was held in coordination with similar events in San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and elsewhere, and was endorsed by Rise and Resist, the New York Immigration Coalition, ACT UP, Revolting Lesbians, and the Reclaim Pride Coalition. Reclaim Pride’s Jay W. Walker and Ken Kidd were among the organizers, as was Martin Quinn, who lost his father to COVID-19 just days before.

Jay W. Walker and Ken Kidd were among the March for the Dead organizers.Donna Aceto

“My dad tested positive for the virus for two full months. He fought hard but suffered alone,” Quinn said. “He was livid and just saddened at the incompetence of the Trump administration.”

Marchers linked Donald Trump’s lies and negligence to the toll COVID-19 has taken on Americans.Donna Aceto
Marti Gould Cummings and Sheila Marino-Thomas drew attention to the plight of immigrants in detention facilities where the coronavirus risk if very high.Donna Aceto
Brooklyn State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon joined the March for the Dead, Fight for the Living action.Donna Aceto
Cherie Acierno remembers a friend lost to COVID-19.Donna Aceto

On August 27, the night Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president on the White House lawn, Rise and Resist organized activists on gun violence prevention, nuclear disarmament, defense of the postal service, immigration rights, COVID-19 care, and  disability access and rights in a No More Years event where different groups came from a variety of starting points to rally at to the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

Heather Quick, an activist with Gays Against Guns and Rise and Resist, offers instructions to No More Years participants.Donna Aceto
Hucklefaery Ken is an activist with ACT UP, the Reclaim Pride Coalition, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.Donna Aceto
A passerby enthusiastically joined in the No More Years action.Donna Aceto

The following evening, a coalition of activists and groups led by Brooklyn organizer Selu gathered in three locations in Brooklyn and Queens and marched to Madison Square Park in Manhattan in solidarity with the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks Commitment March on Washington, organized by the Reverend Al Sharpton and his National Action Network and held the same day to honor the 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. The event in New York drew organizations including Riders4Rights, Revolting Lesbians, Across Frontlines, the NYC Dyke March, the Reclaim Pride Coalition, the Queens Liberation Project, and Musicians United — NYC.

The New York march in solidarity with the Get Your Knees Off My Neck Commitment March in DC included a participant who held her hands up in the fashion so many Black Americans are routinely forced to endure. Donna Aceto
The solidarity march crossing the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn.Donna Aceto
In its simplest message, the event was all about the fact that Black Lives Matter.Donna Aceto

On Sunday, August 30, Gays Against Guns gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square for a Break the Silence gun violence prevention rally.


Vote on November 3 was one key message of the August 30 Breaking the Silence rally in Union Square.Donna Aceto
Banning assault rifles would be a no-brainer elsewhere in the world.Donna Aceto
Here, a participant at the rally makes the link between gun violence and the vulnerability of Black lives.Donna Aceto