Queer Action Ireland, formally known as Working Class Queeros are inviting “all queers who cannot accept the current state of Dublin Pride” to an Alternative Pride. The group believe that Dublin LGBTQ Pride has become “sanitised and assimilated” and contradicts the spirit of Stonewall.
When in previous years the group has formed an oppositional bloc against corporate involvement in Pride, this year the group has said that they “cannot consciously participate in Dublin Pride.” In a statement, the group has listed uniformed garda participation, RTÉ’s involvement as a media partner, corporate presence, the current government’s parties marching while allowing direct provision to continue in Ireland and the theme of ‘Rainbow Revolution’ which they believe is “an empty gesture.”
2019 is set to be the first year that uniformed gardai will participate in Pride, however, the involvement of uniformed police has been a divisive issue in the community. Bella Fitzpatrick in an opinion piece for GCN gives the example of those in favour saying that Gardaí participation demonstrates acceptance of LGBT+ people in every role in Irish society but for those who are against it, their presence defies the spirit of Pride: “a political march, a riot, by the LGBT+ community for the LGBT+ community.”
In their statement regarding Alternative Pride, the group said: “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 a uniform and they were not created to protect and serve the ordinary population.
“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…
“The police continue to target LGBTQ+ people, sex workers, migrant and other ethnic minority people in Ireland today.”
The group believes that Gardaí involvement is not a sign of progress but represents the LGBT+ struggle continuing to be co-opted by mainstream society.
Queer Action Ireland invites “all queers who refuse to accept this sanitised and assimilated version of Pride” to meet at the Rosie Hackett Bridge the same day as Dublin LGBTQ Pride, June 29 an hour earlier at 12:00 pm. They say the event is 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.”
Speaking about the Alternative Pride, Dublin Pride commented: “Pride is always a mix of the personal and political. No one owns Pride, nor should they. We never want to tell anyone what it should mean to them or how they should express it. Diversity and inclusion of all parts of our community is always welcome and never a bad thing. There will be over 100 different events happening across Dublin as part of Pride month and we welcome the array of communities who’ll be represented throughout the festival.”
Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade will happen 29 June, assembling on O’Connell Street and Parnell Square ending at a free outdoor event at Merrion Square.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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