Returning to the protest origins of Pride, and for the second year in a row without an official (and heavily corporate-sponsored) SF Pride parade, there will be a People's March and Rally down Polk Street and in Civic Center on Pride Sunday.
The People's March was the main event of last year's pandemic Pride weekend, when all other events went virtual. Masked activists and community members, led by Juanita MORE!, marched in protest of George Floyd's death at the hands of police and other injustices on the original Gay Liberation Day parade route of Polk Street.
This year there will be fewer masks, and newly crowned Empress Juanita MORE! will be hosting her annual Pride bash in the Tenderloin a few hours later. But the People's March and Rally is on once again, and it will kick off at 11 a.m. on June 27 at Sacramento and Polk.
There will be a rally at Civic Center with speakers — in place of the usual Civic Center Pride festivities — and then attendees will "march from Civic Center on Market to Castro Street for a Pride dance party," according to a news release received by the Bay Area Reporter.
Alex U. Inn, a co-leader of the event, tells the paper that there will be DJs spinning in the Castro, likely the same ones who typically perform at the Soul of Pride stage in Civic Center.
"It needs to happen again," MORE tells the BAR. "A lot of the feedback we got last year is that it felt like the reason Pride happened in the first place."
The event's theme this year is "Unite to Fight," and the release says that marchers will "stand in protest of transgender and racial injustice, police violence and killings, unjust healthcare, the fight for gun control, reparations to Black People, and the right for people of color to have the right to vote without laws of intimidations."
"We will roar our voices in solidarity with our Black, Brown, and Indigenous trans and queer family, friends, lovers, and neighbors," the release continues. "We will show up in droves with amplified voices to advocate for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, denounce and condemn police violence against our communities, and raise awareness for the need to defund police departments, which will allow for funds to be reallocated to social services, mental healthcare providers, and social justice organizations."
Top image: Alex U. Inn, Juanita MORE!, and Honey Mahogany leading last year's People's March. Photo: Juanita MORE/Instagram