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Clink clink! New York City Pride bans police from marching until 2025

In an attempt to ‘create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities’, the NYPD have been prohibited from all celebrations

On Saturday, organisers of New York City Pride announced that police officers would be banned from participating in Pride-related events until at least 2025. 

"NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate," read a statement released on its website.

The redesign of the city’s annual event follows the increasing demands of (namely Black) activists who, over the past year, have stressed the presence of the police as antithetical to the liberation of the queer community, particularly its BIPOC members, who are so often victimised by state violence.

The statement recognised that the militarisation of Pride can feel “threatening” and “dangerous”. As such, funds will be redirected to community-based security projects and first responders, while NYPD officers assigned to monitor the traffic of the parade will be requested to keep a block’s distance at all times. They will intervene "only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials”. 

Critics, including LGBTQ+ officers, have condemed the ban, believing it to be exclusionary to queer members of the force. “Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride) has long been a valued partner of our organization and its abrupt about-face in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful,” the Gay Officer’s Action League wrote.

The police, however, cannot be allies to the LGBTQ+ community. For years, they have proven themselves to be an institutionally homophobic organisation, unaffected by the number of its queer staffers. Around the world, members of the community report a feeling of indifference from police to act on anti-LGBTQ+ violence while a rise in homophobic hate crimes has been met with a fall in prosecutions

In a year when police brutality has been brought to the forefront of debate, NYC pride is setting an example for its international counterparts, highlighting the urgency to remove the heavy hand of law enforcement from future celebrations. New York’s reconfigured Pride is slated to be held on Sunday June 27.