Anti-Capitalist Queers Intervene at Montreal Pride

From Infoshop:

Friday, August 26 2011

An autonomous, self-organized group of 25+ raucous queer and trans activists took to the streets during Montreal’s annual Pride Parade to voice their opposition to business as usual in Quebec, Canada, and the world. Playing off Pride’s futuristic year 3011 theme, this rag-tag, post-apocalyptic girl gang angrily proclaimed there is “no future in capitalism” while tearing up Viagra/Pfizer advertisements along the parade route, chanting “No One Is Illegal!” / “Harper You Suck, But Do You Swallow?!?”, and leafleting the crowd. The sassy flyer outlines how the current economic, political and social climate, as well as shifts in global capitalism, compounded by heterosexism, patriarchy, and racism, are endangering queer and trans communities as well as those of people throughout the world.

From Harper to Charest, the austerity measures affect us all:

  • Social safety nets are being dismantled. The public health care system is under attack. University tuition is being doubled.
  • Canadian companies act with impunity overseas, plundering natural resources and violating human rights. Meanwhile we occupy a foreign nation and continue to sign more “free” trade agreements that privilege corporate interests over working people.
  • Political dissent is being criminalized. Prisons are expanding. And the government responds to social problems with more and longer sentences.
  • Lands are being drilled for oil and shale gas, threatening our ecosystems and rural communities. Le Plan Nord speeds up the colonization and exploitation of indigenous people and lands.
  • The organizations that are the front-line defense for marginalized communities, be they feminist, legal, or cultural, are in a thinly veiled attempt reverse fifty years of advancing economic, cultural and social rights.

As queer and trans folks we should know better than most the importance of community resistance in the face of government attacks and corporate opportunism. We know the damage that results from negligence and lack of social programs. We know the importance of getting out into the streets protesting, speaking with our neighbors, getting involved in our communities, and becoming conscientious objectors in sequins and binders, in high heels and leather boots.

Montreal’s Pride Parade started as a response to police violence and impunity. As a collective voice of a community who had had enough bashing, homophobia, marginalization and criminalization. Who were taking a stand to defend their way of life that was under attack. And it can be again. C’mon Mary. Once more with feeling!

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2 Responses to “Anti-Capitalist Queers Intervene at Montreal Pride”

  1. Andrea B. Says:

    Could be doing with more of that at various pride events worldwide. Might wake a few people up.

    Pride events are no longer fun. They are corporate monsters that exclude fun and having a laugh, replacing it with monotany, corporatism and an almost regimental type of aura.

    They need to get back to having fun in loosely organised parades instead of corporate perfection.

  2. Jessica Says:

    At Capital Pride (ne Ottawa Pride), not only is the official, and it is very official, line transgendered only, there is now discussion of all those under the “gay umbrella.”

    There is a movement of the organization I volunteer for, PTS, to promote Rainbow Alliances, being inclusive, not Gay-Straight Alliances, which is argued against because, it is impractical to do so–there are ALWAYS arguments that can be marshaled to declare it is impractical to fight for, rather than against the marginalized.

    At the Human Rights Monument two nights ago, I could only listen in despair as those who are like me around the world, who only have their courage to be (this year’s [Gay] Pride’s theme) but no law, no more than transgender and transsexual people in Canada have (while gay marriage has been the law of the land since 2005), die unknown, uncounted, unmourned by those who only count gay and lesbian people.

    And these very people want to export the same ‘law’ around the world.

    It is very hard to join those who do not recognized your existence–unless you accept their definition of existence.

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