‘Police are a force of terror’: The LGBT activists who want cops out of Pride

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06/14/2019

It took half a century, but this LGBT Pride month, the New York police department (NYPD) finally apologized for the infamous 1969 raid on the Stonewall gay bar. Some queer New Yorkers had a simple response: apology not accepted. “It was a symbolic PR stunt,” said Colin P Ashley, a local queer black activist. “The NYPD is still an oppressive force in so many lives.” Ashley is part of Reclaim Pride, a coalition that wants more than a 50-year-late apology. The group wants police removed from Pride altogether. Queer and trans activists across the US are engaging in “cops out of Pride” efforts this month, with protests and alternative “cop-free” events that seek to recognize the ongoing police mistreatment of LGBT people. These groups are pushing back against corporate-sponsored parades that embrace police in the name of “inclusion” and “unity” – and return to the radical and riotous roots of the movement.

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