Amsterdam Pride reclaimed for liberation

This video from the Netherlands says about itself:


3 September 2015

Amsterdam Gay Pride is a nine day festival to celebrate that you can be who you are and love the one you want. We share love and accept differences.

The city turns into a rainbow of events in gay and open-minded venues, from dance parties to film festivals, sporting events, debates and culture. The second weekend we blow your mind with a weekend of outdoor parties, the world famous canal parade and a Human Rights Concert on the closing Sunday.

About the 29 July-6 August 2017 Amsterdam Pride, especially the 5 August canal parade, from We Reclaim Our Pride:

We Reclaim Our Pride!

Because we do not wish to celebrate the freedom of one group at the expense of other groups.

What’s going on?

Where Pride once began as a movement that fought for freedom, these days it has grown into a party about commerce and money. What is more, Pride has become a celebration that involves the participation of certain corporations and political parties that are far removed from this fight for freedom. But for us there is no Pride in arms trade and the construction of destructive pipelines like those financed by the ING [banking] Group. There is no Pride in the ethnic profiling of youth of colour by police, or in joining the war over natural resources. And there is certainly no pride in the racism and nationalism of the VVD [political party, part of the Dutch coalition government]. Just like in the Stonewall times, our Pride is intersectional: we cannot celebrate the freedom of one group at the expense of the freedom of other groups.

We also see how LGBTQI+ rights are being used for a racist, populist, and far right smear campaign against Muslims and refugees. They are said to threaten ‘our values’. This homonationalism is misguided, because The Netherlands isn’t really that ‘tolerant’ and many white people discriminate on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. Like many other people who are fleeing poverty or war, LGBTQI+ refugees are mercilessly being deported. Moreover, in many non-western countries a battle is being fought against sexuality and gender oppression, and in those countries there are also people who do not want to be put into the dominant sexuality and gender categories. People who value LGBTQI+ rights should actually support this rather than employ it in a politics of racism and Islamophobia.

Where are we from?

Forty seven years ago the Stonewall riots in New York―led by Sylvia Rivera and Marcia P. Johnson―marked the beginning of the Pride movement as we know it today. The constant intimidation and threatening by the police, combined with their disadvantaged position in society, were the final straw. The group that came into action, consisted primarily of women, transgender people and people of colour from the lower classes of society.

Although the LGBTQI+ movement has made significant progress since the Stonewall riots, there is still a lot to gain when it comes to the liberation from hetero/cis-normativity and sexism in the Netherlands. Because of these forms of oppression people are not safe out on the streets, and are being forced to hide their sexual orientation and gender identity. Many among us do not dare to hold hands in public for fear of being confronted with homophobic slurs or even violence: on the streets, in school and at work. Stonewall teaches us that it is important to pay attention that the degree of exclusion and discrimination often depends on colour, race and gender. And that we must strive for an emphasis on intersectionality in our struggle!

What do we want?

These radical roots of Stonewall seem to have been forgotten in the mainstream celebration of Pride. This is why we want to gather―in all our diversity―on a big bridge, during the Canal Parade on August 5th, to show what the LGBTQI+ fight is about: radical liberation.

We stand up against our rights being hijacked and used for racist political arguments and homonationalism. We want the Pride to be ours again, instead of a commercial party.

Because we do not want to celebrate the freedom of one group by oppressing others. That is why on this day we will reclaim our Pride and bring it back to the fight for our liberation.

Stop the scapegoat politics!

WHAT: Anti-capitalist Decolonial Intersectional Queer Solidarity Block!!
WHEN: August 5th
WHERE: Location will be announced a.s.a.p.
TIME: gathering at 8.30AM is crucial for this action

Anti-capitalist Decolonial Intersectional Solidarity Block Coalition

Co-signed in solidarity:

Gloria Wekker
University of Colour
Amsterdam Black Women Meetup
International Socialists
Haar Minaret [Muslim women]
Les Minas
MVVN [Organisation of Moroccan women in the Netherlands]
Utrecht voor Iedereen
Feministisch Verzet [Feminist Resistance]
Muslims for Progressive Values
Doetank Peer
Expreszo [LGBTQ young people]
ROOD [youth organisation of the Dutch Socialist Party]
De Verrekijker
Amandla Awethu!
Joke Kaviaar
Partij voormalig Artikel 1
The F Word Festival [Amsterdam feminists]

The activists on 5 August 2017

Report: here.

13 thoughts on “Amsterdam Pride reclaimed for liberation

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