[an error occurred while processing this directive][an error occurred while processing this directive]
NYPD Tells Transgender March Organizers to “Go Back to the Village”!
6/15 | NYPD Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka, made an anti-LGBT remark when he told TransJustice members, “to Go Back to The Village”
By Kaitlyn Tikkun
Just weeks, before one of the largest LGBT Pride celebration weekends in the United States is held, The New York City Police Department and the City of New York are attempting to deny sound and march permit applications for the 2nd Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice.
June 14, 2006-New York City – Millions of LGBT people and their supporters will participate in Pride parades and festivals, in the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, St Louis, and in the Twin Cities region on the weekend of June 23-25th. In both, NYC and San Francisco, the Friday evening of Pride weekend has been when Transgender communities traditionally hold marches and rallies.
“For over a decade, there has been some kind of transgender peoples march on the Friday evening of NYC Pride weekend. The Trans day of Action is just following in that tradition”, says Lourdes Hunter, an organizer with TransJustice, the initiators of the Trans Day of Action.
TransJustice, a project of the Audre Lorde Project, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, and Trans People of Color Center for Community Organizing, applied back in early May for four sound permits to hold rallies along the 8th Avenue march route in the Midtown section of Manhattan.
On Tuesday, June 6th, during a meeting at Manhattan South, NYPD Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka, made an anti-LGBT remark when he told TransJustice members, “to Go Back to The Village” and that their applications for a 5:00pm rally at 42nd Street & 8th Avenue would not be allowed.
Historically, 8th Avenue has been regarded as the place that several LGBT and HIV organizations as well as LGBT nightclubs have called home. TransJustice called the rally at 42nd Street & 8th Avenue to address the growing violence and murders of Trans people. The rally will also be used to commemorate the 6th year anniversary of Amanda Milan, a 25 year-old African-American transgender woman, who was brutally murdered, on June 20, 2000, in the middle of an intersection near Port Authority Bus Terminal as onlookers cheered.
"For the Bloomberg Administration to try to deny Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people of color and their allies the right to commemorate the murder of Amanda Milan is an outrage.”, said Sha Grogan-Brown, of Committees In Solidarity with People of El Salvador(CISPES). “ Bruce Smolka is notorious for his brutality and repression against political groups. We support
TransJustice’s right to call for a social and economic justice rally, wherever they see fit.”
CISPES is just one of the many groups that has responded to the TransJustice national action alert to inundate Mayor Bloomberg’s office with emails, phone calls, and faxes demanding the City of New York approve all TDOA permits applications.
“We see The Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice in NYC as a national event whose purpose is to celebrate transgender visibility and protest the discrimination and violence perpetuated against our community and build a gender movement with our allies", said Sam Davis, Director of The 3rd Annual San Francisco Trans March also happening on Friday, June 23rd.
TDOA organizers anticipate over 2,000 people will march on Friday, June 23rd. The march has received broad-based support and has a growing list of NYC, national and international endorsements including the Borough Manhattan President Scott Stringer, Asociacion Travestis, Transexualses, Transgeneros Argentinas (ATTTA), Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP), Domestic Workers United , FIERCE!, Housing Works Inc, The International Action Center, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), CAAAV-Organizing Asian Communities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of NYC, The National Lesbian and Gay Task Force, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE),Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, North Star Fund, Santamaria Fundación GLTB, Cali, Colombia , The Sylvia Rivera Law Project and TransAction Theatre Company, United Kingdom. Endorsements can be sent to email@example.com or by calling (718) 596-0342 ext 18.
“The Trans Day of Action is not only to fight for transgender peoples’ rights. It is an anti-war and anti-police brutality march. We are rallying to demand money for jobs and affordable housing of all New Yorkers,” said Lourdes Hunter, of TransJustice, We stand against the anti-immigrant attacks coming from the White House. We know this is why Mayor Bloomberg really doesn’t want us on 8th Ave, but we intend to fight for our right to march and rally on June 23rd”.
For The TDOA endorsement list, points of unity or rally schedule: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (718) 596-0342 ext 18.
TransJustice a project of the Audre Lorde Project
A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit & Trans People of Color Community Organizing Center
85 South Oxford Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1607 Tel: 718-596-0342 ext 18
Gael Guevara email@example.com
Phone: 917-459-8779 or
Damien Domenack firstname.lastname@example.org