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Pride 2019 June 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a first.

The civil and public service will take part in the Dublin parade for the first time, marching under the banner Proud to Work for Ireland.

And:

Joining the parade will be representatives from all Government departments, the Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, the Central Bank, Revenue and many other agencies of the State.

They will be joined by representatives of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). It will be the first time PSNI officers in uniform have taken part in Dublin Pride. Over the past few years, gardaí have participated in Belfast Pride. The Garda Representative Association is also taking part in the parade for the first time.

And always important to remember the roots of Pride in Dublin,:

Dublin’s first large-scale pride parade was held in June 1983 when about 900 people marched from Liberty Hall to Fairview park.
It followed the death of Declan Flynn (31) who was beaten to death by a gang of five “queer-bashing” teenagers in Fairview Park in 1982. The 1983 march through the city centre is seen as the catalyst for the gay-rights movement in Ireland.

The parade starts at 1PM on O’Connell Street and ends on Merrion Square though as this makes clear opinions are not entirely uniform on the participation of the police.

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1. Tomboktu - June 29, 2019

The challenges from within the lgbtqi communities to the direction Dublin Pride has taken are being reported in the mainstream media.

Last weekend, ‘The Business’ on RTÉ Radio 1 did a report on the participation of businesses and pinkwashing, and the Sunday Business Post carried a report about an alternative that is being organised by Queer Action Ireland.

I am open to correction, but I think this is the first year in which an alternative event has been organised from within the community.

STATEMENT FROM QUEER ACTION IRELAND REGARDING PRIDE ALTERNATIVE 2019

Queer Action Ireland·Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Queer Action Ireland regret that we cannot conciously participate in Dublin Pride 2019, even in an oppositional radical bloc, as we have done in previous years.

The participation of Gardai in uniform in this year’s parade is in direct opposition to the liberatory principles of Pride, which was established 50 years ago; initially in response to police brutality that was directed towards the LGBTQ+ community of New York City, and then broadened out internationally. The police continue to target LGBTQ+ people, sex workers, migrant and other ethnic minority people in Ireland today. Just this week, the Gardai have arrested migrant sex workers on both sides of the country.

Cops marching in Pride is not a sign of progress, but rather a representation of the further cooptation of our struggle. While police will make concessions and recruit from our queer and migrant poplulations, their role remains the same. We in Queer Action Ireland view the police force as a weapon that is designed for the specific purpose of keeping us down. The police are not just workers in uniform and they were not created to protect and serve the ordinary population. In fact, the idea of cops neutrally enforcing “the law”, when the law itself has never been neutral, is an illusory idea.
The origins of the police lies in their creation to protect the system by imposing order on working class communities, breaking-up strikes and repressing workers. The idea of “Guardians of the Peace” means guardians of the peace for those who rule over us. This is why we see cops supporting evictions or protecting wealthy land hoarders and landlords, and it’s why we saw them attack people in the Take Back the City movement last year, while protecting private security forces who assaulted housing activists.

We cannot march in a parade that welcomes RTE as an official media sponsor; a broadcaster who welcomed transphobic hate speech onto the air not months ago, and whose commitment to so-called “balanced” reporting has led to the perpetuation of dangerous ideas and rhetoric around the island of Ireland, that endangers the lives of the queer community.

We cannot march in a parade that so readily welcomes corporations who see our community as no more than a marketing demographic; who sell our data to political parties and other companies for profit; who exploit us all and oppress LGBTQ and migrant workers; who take our homes and sell them to the highest bidder; who refuse to provide adequate rights to their workers or recognise a trade union; and who rent out homes stolen from the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, or shut down the bank accounts of Palestinian Solidarity organisations.

We cannot march in a parade with establishment political parties who dress up in rainbows yet oversee the for-profit racist detention centres that they call direct provision, which makes lots of money for their ruling class. Only this month we learned that Sylva Tukula, a trans woman that they housed in an all male centre who died last year, was buried in secret, without telling her friends and without it being known where she is buried, or how she died. Nor can we march with government parties whose decision to end the Irish Navy’s ability to engage in search and rescue work will inevitably mean thousands of more deaths at sea of those who seek refuge. Nor can we march with a government whose department of justice carries out deportations, and who issued a refusal form, in April of this year, to a lesbian seeking asylum from persecution. Nor can we march in a parade with a semi-state company who perpetuates bigotry by driving around with an advertisement for a fascist one month, and a rainbow the next.

We cannot march in a parade that comprises itself of all of this, and then purely symbolically sets its theme as “Rainbow Revolution”, an empty gesture. This is insulting to the millions of queer people whose shoulders we stand on, who struggled before us for every right we have today, while never needing the sponsorship of any big corporations to achieve their wins. This hypocrisy speaks volumes as to how detached Dublin Pride is from the fight for queer liberation. It has become a shadow of what it once was, co-opted by capitalists who hope to assimilate and profit off the queer community, reducing us to no more than statistics in their empty marketing campaigns.
We invite and encourage all queers who refuse to accept this sanitised and assimilated version of Pride, to meet us at the Rosie Hackett Bridge on June 29th from midday at 12pm, for a celebration of what Pride should be: Listening to each other in our struggles and working to draw attention to the issues that continue to affect our community today, in a fight for a better world where we control our own destinies.

Pride Alternative 2019: https://www.facebook.com/events/2634677889895621/?notif_t=event_friend_going&notif_id=1560334586245743

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2. EWI - June 29, 2019

We in Queer Action Ireland view the police force as a weapon that is designed for the specific purpose of keeping us down. The police are not just workers in uniform and they were not created to protect and serve the ordinary population. In fact, the idea of cops neutrally enforcing “the law”, when the law itself has never been neutral, is an illusory idea.

And they are correct.

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2019

There is an absolute aspect of truth there but that there’s also a reality that when people need support in conflicts etc harassment, prejudice violence etc who else can people turn to? There’s a tension there and I can’t help but feel that while the corporatisation is problematic the police being there is less so. It’s been a long road getting police to accep and believe and understand say those who are subject to domestic or sexual violence racial or sexual or gender based bigotry and we are not all the way there by any means.

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EWI - June 29, 2019

Both things can be true ar once (this is how real life and politics often work, after all). Neo-liberalism has excelled at co-option and shutting down avenues of resistance, as both Pride and the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ have demonstrated.

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2019

Agreed but I’m always a bit dubious about how wide those avenues are- for example police forces are part of and reflect societies they are part of and it is unlikely in our society we could easily go away with them let alone there would be any general support for same so in a part of me feels it’s like file under necessary evil and so all we can to make them ever more answerable to oversight etc (which of course in no sense contradicts what you are saying).

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2019

Sorry meant to say ‘so we do all we can to make them…’

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3. GearóidGaillimh - June 29, 2019

My boyfriend and I were going to go to the alternative pride but he’s been sick the last few days. I’m glad it exists with pinkwashing reaching a new nadir every year.

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2019

Hope he gets better quickly and agreed good to see alternatives – some of the corporate stuff approached absurd levels and I do wonder whether education on the ground in social contexts and workplaces etc is ignored in terms of assisting resources etc because they are directed into more cosmetic stuff for this week or so. That said there’s part of me that cheers inside to see the fact people can celebrate In Such a high profile way.

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