No Pride in Police

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Cassandra Norton
Cassandra Norton signed this petition

The first Pride was not a celebration. It was two days of violent resistance against police brutality we commemorate as the Stonewall Riots. Though standing on the shoulders of generations before it, Stonewall marked the beginning of the modern fight for LGBTQ+ equality and liberation. This fight has ushered in an era of unprecedented queer rights and visibility, but reactionary efforts to erase these hard-won victories have grown just as pronounced. From a ban on transgender people in the military, to a multitude of religiously justified discrimination bills, to homegrown attempts to roll back marriage rights here in Tennessee, we stand to lose everything we have achieved.

At every stage of this ongoing struggle, the police, as the sanctioned enforcers of the state, have been our opposition and our oppressors. Indeed, it will be the police who drag us out of bathrooms and business places in shackles, who will harass us when our name or gender markers don’t match our “biological sex,” who will drive us into ghettos when we can’t find work or housing. Even now, law enforcement disproportionately target queer people of color, working class, and immigrant communities. Why, then, are the police permitted a place at the 50th anniversary of the riot that birthed our movement? Nashville Pride 2019 has claimed explicitly to honor Stonewall, yet in years passed it has welcomed police with open arms and offered them a seat at the table. How are we honoring communities that rose up in violent resistance to their oppressors while welcoming those same oppressors? 

We make the following demands of the Nashville Pride Board of Directors:

Nashville Pride will ask MNPD to not participate in, marshal, or patrol the Pride Parade.

Nashville Pride will not allow MNPD to have a booth at the Pride Festival.

Nashville Pride will ask MNPD to not patrol inside the Pride Festival.