Statement of the LGBTQ+ caucus of Workers World Party
The following is an excerpt from this statement. The full statement can be found at: https://www.workers.org/2021/05/56692/
While the COVID pandemic locked us in our homes this past year, it did not stop the police terror or victimization of Black, Brown and Indigenous people in the U.S. We witnessed the police murder of Breonna Taylor, a Black women EMT at the beginning of the pandemic and have just commemorated the one-year anniversary of the assassination of George Floyd, a Black man, by the Minneapolis police. Tony McDade, a transgender Black man, was killed by the Tallahassee shortly after Floyd was killed. The police terror of Black and Brown people continues at an alarming rate as we enter this year’s Pride month.
The US government, not content with its war at home against Black and Brown people, exports police terror abroad. We are sickened by the continued occupation of Palestine by Israel, which is armed and supported by the U.S. In fact, while Israel was bombing the West Bank and Gaza (during the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid, two Muslim holidays), the U.S. Congress was approving over $700 million in arms to Israel, which is widely recognized as a settler apartheid state. Over 243 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed by Israeli police actions and terrorism.
This year’s Pride marks the 52nd anniversary of the great Stonewall Rebellion which in reality was a militant demonstration, led by working class transgender youth and drag queens, against police brutality and oppression. The most marginalized and oppressed of the LGBTQ+ community came together on June 28, 1969, to rebel against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The transgender community in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco had already protested similar police oppression and raids in August 1966 in what has come to be known as the “Compton Cafeteria Riots.” The LGBTQ+ movement was born out of the movement against police terror.
In 2015 it was reported by the Williams Institute that 48 percent of LGBTQ+ victims of violence experienced police violence. In 2015, the same institute reported that 58 percent of trans people said they were victims of verbal harassment, persistent misgendering, physical and sexual assault and forced to perform sexual acts to avoid being arrested. Of course the groups most affected by police violence within the community are Black and Brown LGBTQ+ people. Unarmed Black people are 3.49 times more likely to be killed by the police compared to their white counterparts.
It is critical that we live up to our heritage and stop police violence against our community. It is high time that all cops be kicked out of Pride whether Pride events are virtual or in person. No police of any kind, including police officers, members of the FBI or other federal police agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or prison guards, should be allowed to participate in Pride activities. We applaud the actions of New York City’s Heritage of Pride organizer who banned uniformed police and security from all events this year and through 2025. We challenge all Pride organizers to ban any participation of these purveyors of racist violence.
Additionally, we urge all Pride organizers to terminate any connection with colonizers including the Israeli Consulate, and to take a strong stand against US support for the continued occupation of Palestine. LGBTQ+ Pride should fully embrace the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel. Additionally, Pride should call upon the US government to stop military aid to all governments oppressing its people including Haiti, the Philippines, Yemen, and Korea.
This year, let us demand an end to racist police terror not only in the U.S. but across the globe. Stonewall must once again commemorate and inspire the continued rebellion against US racism and oppression everywhere.