Activists from New York City’s Reclaim Pride Coalition (RPC) are planning an alternative Pride march at the same time as the city’s official Pride 2019 parade.

Announced at a press conference this Tuesday, May 14, RPC’s Queer Liberation March will put local activists and organizers front and center.

The group—spearheaded by longtime local LGBTQ advocates, including Gays Against Guns and Rise and Resist veteran Jay W. Walker—argues that the city’s formal Pride event is driven by corporate interests, not a push for LGBTQ equality. In a 2018 op-ed for NewNowNext, Walker argued that Heritage of Pride (HOP), the group responsible for producing NYC’s Pride events, has become increasingly reliant on corporate support to stage events.

RPC’s Queer Liberation March is scheduled for Sunday, June 30—the same day as NYC’s Pride celebration, which doubles as the site of World Pride 2019. At Tuesday’s press conference, activist Colin P. Ashley spoke on behalf of RPC, echoing Walker’s sentiments:

The current Pride parade is a corporate party that addresses none [of the issues the queer community faces]. We met repeatedly with them to return the march to the people, but they couldn’t see it. So we’re taking responsibility ourselves. And we’ve been thrilled by the reactions of unanimous support we’ve received by everyone we’ve reached out to.

The group will assemble at Sheridan Square in the West Village, continuing up 6th Avenue until marchers reach Central Park. There, RPC plans to hold a rally at the park’s Great Lawn.

Courtesy of Reclaim Pride Coalition

RPC says the Queer Liberation March will have zero corporate sponsors and no sanctioned police presence. Meanwhile, World Pride 2019 has an extensive corporate sponsor list.

New Yorkers interested in participating in the Queer Liberation March are invited to attend RPC’s planning meetings or visit the organization’s website for more information.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.

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