Pride Without Policing: Protestors Meet Rainbow Banners at the 4th Annual Portland Trans Pride March

 

We’ve received a few inquiries about our community safety effort for the Portland Trans Pride March this year. In essence, we believe that Pride without policing is possible, and since 2014 we have practiced that to the greatest extent we can while having a permitted trans march.

We are very grateful to all the volunteers who organized and were part of our community safety team effort this year–our own Trans March Community Safety Team; Pride NW Peacekeepers; members of the Rosehip Medic Collective; and members of the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Below is a statement usable for media.

In community and solidarity–
Greater Portland Trans Unity

*******************

MEDIA STATEMENT

Greater Portland Trans Unity
PORTLAND, OR
June 18, 2017

Pride Without Policing: Protestors Meet Rainbow Banners at the 4th Annual Portland Trans Pride March

SUMMARY: A brief incident with street preachers at the 2017 Trans Pride March was quickly contained by the march’s coordinated community safety effort. The march kicked off on time, and organizers believe it was a joyous, powerful experience for 1,500 or more people this year.

WHAT HAPPENED: Street preachers came to protest the march as they have for the past few years. Just before the march kickoff, they were standing close to and shouting at a community member. When several preachers started shoving the community member, members of our community safety team moved in to stop the altercation. Safety team members got the community member safe and disengaged. Peacekeepers and medics were also present, and members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were there with large rainbow banners.

Every team did their part to contain the situation and keep folks safe, so that the march could continue. This was the only notable incident during our rally and march this year, and was handled quickly and as planned by our community safety teams working together.

Despite protestors, we kicked off on time. This was also probably our loudest and most energetic march to date–in terms of protest chants; community contingents; marching bands; and the general feeling of resistance through solidarity and celebration.

ABOUT TRANS MARCH SAFETY PLANNING: The trans march safety effort is organized by our trans march community safety team–with support this year from Pride NW event coordinators and community peacekeeping volunteers; members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (who used rainbow banners to block out the protesters); and experienced street medics from Rosehip Medic Collective.

PRIDE WITHOUT POLICING: We do safety planning every year for the march, but this was our first time working with Pride Northwest (https://pridenw.org/about/) to establish a coordinated safety plan. We did this in part because of heightened safety concerns for so many people in our communities under the current administration.

We believe that community-based safety planning is a vital element of our march because law enforcement has a pattern of being reactive, violent, and even deadly when interacting with queer and trans people; people of color (especially Black and indigenous people); poor and unhoused people; people with disabilities; sex workers; and many others at the heart of our communities. (See: http://www.oregonlive.com/…/pride_northwest_asks_police_to.….)

Unfortunately, we have seen time and again that our communities are safest not engaging with police. Since the march began in 2014, we have successfully negotiated a permitted march with minimal and unobtrusive police presence. We do believe that Pride without policing is possible, and we are grateful to be able to put that principle into practice with the Portland Trans Pride March.

Inquiries to: greaterportlandtransunity@gmail.com.

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