Hundreds attended the Taking Back Pride March that was held in Minneapolis last week, where activists demanded that the other officers involved in the death of George Floyd be convicted. This was the fifth annual Taking Back Pride March in Minnesota, where participants came to celebrate Pride Month. The marchers also called for, “no police officers at Pride festivals, justice for those killed by police, protection for Black trans people and community control over police.”
According to the Minnesota Public Radio News, “Counter to Twin Cities Pride, this protest march refuses law enforcement and corporate representation. Instead it’s rooted in the more radical origins of Pride — the Stonewall riots of 1969 were in response to police violence.”
The first Taking Back Pride March arose out of the 2017 acquittal of former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile in 2016. Many organizers of the Twin Cities Pride event wanted to continue to have a police presence, but more radical members of the Pride community were opposed.
The Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar organizer, Sam Martinez said, “The verdict came out, and folks were asking that the police not be [at Pride] that year. That didn’t really seem like an option for the traditional Twin Cities Pride committee, so because of that folks got together and were like, ‘We’re gonna stop the Pride parade.’ ” According to Minnesota Public Radio News, the alternative Taking Back Pride movement was able to hold up the 2017 Twin Cities Pride March for over an hour.
Martinez also said that, “Pride was the start of the queer and trans liberation movement, and it’s tied to the Black liberation movement. Queer and trans community members are targets of police violence, so the fight against police violence is our fight.”
Attendees of the June 27 march can be heard yelling, “Whose park? Our park.” once they arrived at their final destination of Loring Park.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Pride in Minneapolis” by Tony Webster CC2.0.