Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist. Erik is a member of the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street and co-writer of the Occupy Wall Street’s Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. As a published freelance photographer, he has documented activist groups actions in NYC since 2011.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Resistance groups led the 2017 New York City Pride March
New York City - On June 25, 2017 Pride March NYC is going into its 47th anniversary with the largest Pride March in the country. Pride March NYC is a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality, attracting thousands of out-of-state visitors and brings them together with local residents, families, and community leaders. The first March was held in 1970 and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration. Over the years its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to illness, violence and neglect. The March is a celebration of our lives and our community.
This year, the parade is being led by the Resistance against the Trump/Pence regime. Members of ACT UP, Rise + Resist, United Thru Action, and Gays Against Guns among other activist groups march in the lead section of the NYC Pride Parade with a contingent honoring the place of civil disobedience, visible action, and resistance in the LGBTQ community.
Trump and Pence have viciously attacked LGBTQ people from the start. They've imposed the transgender "bathroom law" preventing trans children in schools from using the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Pence has expressed support for "conversion therapy"--effectively torture for gay children. The regime is enabling, even encouraging, businesses and schools (see Betsy DeVos) to discriminate against LGBTQ people. And they have unleashed a rabid fascist support base to attack anyone who doesn't conform to their white, male, heterosexual vision for America and the world.
ACT UP’s participation in the Parade will call back to the group’s history of provocative, creative gestures, props, and action. Members will be bearing five coffins down the parade route to symbolize critical AIDS-related services and programs under direct threat from the Trump Administration. These include: Medicaid, PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), Ryan White CARE Act, Affordable Care Act, and Sex Education.
Earlier this year, Heritage of Pride faced pressure to acknowledge the increased necessity for the kinds of bold, disruptive tactics pioneered by ACT UP and other resistance groups. The unprecedented presence of ACT UP in a leading section of the parade comes just one week after the resignation of six members from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, in a letter describing that President Trump “simply does not care” about HIV/AIDS policy and services.
12 queer and trans allies, part of the No Justice No Pride movement blocked the NYPD and Toronto Police contingents at the New York City Pride March in pride for Trans and Queer lives. Protesters chained themselves to one another bringing the march to a complete halt. Twelve arrest were made co-facilitated by the Pride March board of directors for blocking police presence out of pride.