The fourth annual People’s March and Rally is set for Sunday, right at the same time as the more commercialized larger Pride Parade, to “offer an alternative for those who prefer the harder edge of protest.”
SFist has wondered for the better part of ten years, when did Pride became a party for straight teens, rather than the gay rights protest it started as? It may have been when the emphasis switched to placating corporate sponsors, giving the Amazons, Salesforces, and Anheuser-Busches of the world their Silver, Platinum, and Gold sponsor designations. It may be when straight politicians who just wanted to be seen on a float decided Pride was more about them. And maybe it was when cops and their paid public relations flaks decided theirs was the most important seat at the Pride table.
Whenever it was, at least the struggle for rights and against oppression did return with the People’s March and Rally in 2020. And that renegade event returns this Sunday for the fourth annual People’s March and Rally. The event bills itself as “A call for action from Juanita MORE! and Alex U. Inn,” and adds, “All Black Lives Matter! All-Trans Lives Matter! All Brown Lives Matter, All Indigenous Lives Matter!”
“We hope to offer an alternative for those who prefer the harder edge of protest. Because Pride is a protest,” activist and drag performer told KPIX in a Friday segment.
“One of the things we want to call to action is the 540-plus bills that are anti-trans, anti-drag, across our states,” Inn added. “We want to make sure our voices are heard when it comes to the injustices that are set up for our people and our community.”
“We honor the spirit of the original Pride and the original Pride movement,” Inn explained. “We’re used to seeing the Pride celebration on Market Street, that has become more commercialized, the police are more honored. With the People’s March, what we’re trying to really stress is that people of color, BIPOC people, especially queer people, pretty much don’t feel welcome when we have a history of police violence in our communities.”
“We see the corporations show up, but they don’t do much afterwards."
The People’s March and Rally follows the route of San Francisco’s first Gay Liberation March in 1970, which was the one-year anniversary of Stonewall. “We know that our ancestors who did the march prior to us, we want to let them know that work was not in vein.” one-time Emperor of the Imperial Council John Weber told KPIX.
Sunday’s march will end at Fern Alley “for a celebration of our culture and community with DJs, performers, and artists’ booths.”
The People's March and Rally is Sunday, June 25, 11-5 p.m., starting at Polk & Washington Streets and ending at Fern Alley.
Image: missmore8 via Instagram