Reclaim Pride Coalition Announces Third Annual Queer Liberation March

reclaim banner aceto
The banner that led off the Reclaim Pride Coalition’s march last year.
Donna Aceto

The third annual Queer Liberation March will take place, as expected, on Sunday, June 27, Reclaim Pride Coalition (RPC) organizers announced on March 1.

The Queer Liberation March was first organized in 2019 in response to longstanding criticism over the corporate and police presence at Heritage of Pride’s (HOP) march, which activists have decried as a deviation from the original purpose of Pride. Instead, RPC — which hosted the only in-person Pride march in the city last year — bans uniformed police officers and corporations from participating in their march.

More firm details, including the exact route and start time for the march, are not yet available. Details surrounding HOP’s march are also not yet finalized, though some sort of event is on tap for Pride Sunday. HOP is planning to hold an event that will be virtual with to-be-determined in-person “elements.”

Following RPC’s march last year, which was called the Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality, RPC organizers have created an online form for attendees in the community to express their opinions about how to shape messaging and direction for this year. That form is available here.

“This is the People’s March,” RPC organizer Francesca R. Barjon said in a written statement. “We want any and every member of our queer and trans family to guide the direction of this march, thereby creating an event that can make a true impact on our lives and our capacity to thrive!”

RPC organizers are underscoring the urgent crises impacting marginalized queer communities over the last year, including the ongoing murders targeting Black transgender women, police abuse targeting peaceful protesters, transphobia and racism, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must march and have our voices heard,” James Papadopoulos, a Queer Liberation March organizer, said in a written statement. “The struggle for queer liberation cannot wait for the passing of the pandemic, as COVID-19 has made surviving even more difficult for far too many of our most marginalized community members.”

Last year’s event featured a safety-first approach complete with ample hand sanitizer and masks for marchers. This year’s march will again place an emphasis on reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission while maintaining the activist spirit embodied by marchers during the first two marches. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available at the beginning of the march and along the route.

Like in previous years, RPC is fostering an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Spare wheelchairs will be available, American Sign Language interpreters will be on hand, and medics will be stationed throughout the march.

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