LGBT pride marches continue legacy of Stonewall
Published Jul 2, 2008 10:12 PM
TransJustice Day of Action, June 27.
WW photo: John Catalinotto
Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride was marked with activities continuing the
struggle for LGBT rights from June 27 to 29 in New York City.
The Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice kicked off the weekend.
The march was organized by TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project, a lesbian,
gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color
center for community organizing. It demanded equal access to employment and
educational opportunities; respect and dignity from the Human Resources
Administration, the Administration of Children’s Services and the
Department of Homeless Services; and the end to the U.S. “war on
terrorism” and the war on U.S. immigrants; and an end to police violence
and the prison/industrial complex that incarcerates so many LGBT people of
Despite pouring rain, women-identified people marched militantly through the
streets of New York without a permit in the next day’s Dyke March. And on
June 29, the annual Manhattan pride parade marched past the Stonewall Inn, site
of the historic 1969 rebellion against police repression that helped launch the
LGBT rights movement in the U.S.
LGBT Pride march, June 29.
WW photo: Monica Moorehead
Marching in the parade this year was Governor David Paterson, New York’s
first African-American governor and the first governor to ever march in this
parade. His office issued an order in mid-June directing state agencies to
recognize same-sex marriages performed outside of New York.
An anti-imperialist contingent representing the International Action Center;
the youth group FIST —Fight Imperialism, Stand Together; and Workers
World Party was well received. Onlookers joined in chants of “NYPD go to
hell! We are all Sean Bell!”
FREE THE JERSEY 4!
One focus of the anti-imperialist contingent on June 29 and a FIST contingent
at the June 28 Dyke March was the ongoing struggle to free three of the Jersey
4 political prisoners—young Black lesbians who were given prison
sentences of three to 11 years for defending themselves against a violent
On June 19, Terrain Dandridge’s indictment was dismissed and she was
released from prison. Renata Hill faces retrial after her conviction was
vacated but the indictment upheld. Appeals for Patreese Johnson and Venice
Brown are still underway.
A legal expert told Workers World that the lawyers for the Jersey 4 are calling
the dismissal of Dandridge’s indictment a total vindication and
declaration of their innocence, as it is rare that charges are dropped through
the appeals process. She cited the use of the so-called gang laws against the
Jersey 4, which can be used against any group of three or more people,
regardless of whether they are affiliated with a gang. Coupled with the
demonization of the Jersey 4 by the corporate media, the attorney said the law
was used against them based solely on who they are and their various levels of
Meanwhile, despite the fact that New York pride marks a rebellion against
police brutality, at the end of the June 29 parade, hundreds of young LGBT
people were pushed out of the West Village by gangs of cops, some on horseback,
who barricaded the entire area, stopping people from eating in restaurants and
even getting to their cars.
Imani Henry contributed to this report.
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