Trans Queer Pueblo calls Phoenix Pride’s reduction in police presence at the upcoming festival and parade “A victory for TQPOC communities who put their bodies on the line.”

Illustration of colorful new Social Justice / Progress rainbow pride flag / banner of LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & Queer) organization. June is celebrated as the Pride Parade month

Courtesy of Trans Queer Pueblo

Trans Queer Pueblo welcomes Phoenix Pride’s announcement (see below) last week that it will limit Phoenix Police, Maricopa County Sheriffs, and Border Patrol presence at the upcoming Pride Festival & Parade.

“It’s a victory for TQPOC communities who put their bodies on the line for years to get law enforcement out of Phoenix Pride,” said Xyra Flores, Trans Queer Pueblo’s Queer Politics in Arizona Coordinator. Trans Queer Pueblo has called on Phoenix Pride to ban police from the parade for the last four years. The LGBTQ+ migrants of color group made waves when it blocked the parade route in 2017 and 2018.

In response to the protests, Phoenix Pride sanctioned Phoenix PD to knock undocumented trans women to their feet, shove LGBTQ youth with bicycles; and use a police SUV to push Black and brown protestors. “Phoenix Pride doesn’t want to tell that part of the story,” added Flores. “As queer and trans people of color, we often get erased from the history books, but we must fight against that kind of erasure.”Trans Queer Pueblo is calling on Phoenix Pride to work with them to create a community safety plan for the Pride Parade and Festival. “Phoenix Pride needs the wisdom of grassroots BIPOC organizers who have been working for years to imagine safety beyond police,” said Flores. She added, “we are concerned that Phoenix Pride is still allowing plain-clothes police and off-duty police officers at the Parade and Festival. Plain-clothes and off-duty officers can actually be more dangerous to the TQPOC community because we won’t be able to identify them clearly as police. And if Phoenix Pride hires a private security firm, we are concerned about training standards and use-of-force policies.”

Trans Queer Pueblo is also calling on Phoenix Pride to join the campaign to Defund Phoenix Police and redirect those funds to services for LGBTQ+ migrants and communities of color. “As we’ve seen from their pledge to reduce police presence, Phoenix Pride has the potential to be a visionary leader in re-imagining public safety in Phoenix, and the nation, in the wake of the lynching of George Floyd. We need them to go further and use the power of their institution to back the Defund Phoenix Police campaign,” said Flores.

Phoenix Pride’s statement on police participation in 40th Annual Phoenix Pride Festival and Parade

Courtesy of Phoenix Pride

In solidarity with LGBTQ Black and Indigenous People of Color, Phoenix Pride has announced a series of sweeping changes to its policies regarding the participation of local police agencies in the annual Phoenix Pride Festival and Parade, beginning with this year’s 40th Anniversary events, scheduled for November 7-8, 2020 at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, with the parade taking place on Saturday, November 7, between Thomas Rd. and Indian School Road, moving north up Third Street.

Under the new policies, police and other law enforcement agencies will no longer have participating contingents in the Phoenix Pride Parade or booths/displays at the Phoenix Pride Festival. Individual police or law enforcement officers who wish to participate in the Parade will be invited to do so only as private individuals, without badges, firearms, non-lethal weapons or any other identifying gear or equipment present. In addition, police vehicles will not be included in the parade.

In addition, Phoenix Pride is asking that the Phoenix Police Department use only unarmed, non-uniformed officers to manage required street closures and traffic restrictions around the Phoenix Pride Parade.

Finally, Phoenix Pride is committing to engage only the minimum mandated number of hand-selected off-duty officers to be present at the Phoenix Pride Festival to meet the requirements set forth in the City’s permitting process for the use of Steele Indian School Park.

The Phoenix Pride Board of Directors will continue to review these policies on an annual basis to ensure that they are best reflective of the organization, its mission and our community.

Phoenix Pride’s leadership, including its staff and board of directors, continues to proclaim that Black lives matter, and we will continue to work with our community, with our allies, and with communities of color to stand united in seeking the end to oppression of all people and the realization of equality and equity for everyone.