Kingston Pride and Solidarity with Queers Against Police

Anonymous Submission to North Shore Counter-Info

This year at Kingston Pride, a small group of people gathered with signs that read “STONEWALL WAS A RIOT” and “NO PRIDE IN IMPERIALISM, NO PRIDE IN POLICE,” a black flag and flyers. We weaved through the parade, handing out flyers about why the military and cops weren’t welcome at Pride and expressing solidarity with racialized people, indigenous folks, migrants and poor folks who – like LGBTQ+ folks – experience brutal violence at the hands of Canada’s police and military on this territory and abroad.

Lots of people seemed sincerely glad to see us, especially young folks (some older folks too) and many thanked us for being there. A lot of people were indifferent or outright hostile. But it felt important to make a visible statement that some queer and trans folks still got no love for Canada or its police and military. Saying these things out loud and drawing lines instead of participating in the charade of “Pride Is For Everyone” made me feel more whole, less crazy, and somehow less alone. Hopefully this small intervention made others in the crowd feel that way too.

I’m so over Pride celebrations that are boring spectacles for the benefit of the rich and powerful. Yet this year I was uniquely dismayed to see a handful of racist and xenophobic People’s Party of Canada stooges marching in Pride alongside the usual bullshit Children’s Aid Society and RBC floats. Thanks to some queers who acted fast, their campaign materials were stolen and destroyed, limiting their ability to spread their white supremacist garbage to the crowd.

The PPC openly associates with white nationalists and organized white supremacist, Islamophobic and anti-immigrant groups. One PPC candidate in Vancouver recently had the Soldiers of Odin provide security while she spoke on behalf of the party at an anti-trans rights rally. Their Sudbury candidate was a Soldiers of Odin member himself. Here in Kingston Daniel Calabretta, Vice-President of the riding association, has shown up to Yellow Vest rallies stating that “we have to stand up for western civilization, western values.” He’s also friendly with Rick Boswick who was present at Hamilton Pride gleefully filming his friends bashing queers.

Solidarity and complicity with those in Hamilton who fought back against homophobic white supremacists and kicked them out of Pride means refusing to peacefully accept homophobic white supremacists in our queer community here in Kingston.

Solidarity and complicity with Cedar Hopperton, jailed in retaliation for publicly speaking out against the police, means refusing to play along when the police wear rainbow-lettered uniforms and pretend to be our friends. The police will never be our friends, they’re not here to protect us, and they’ll never be a part of our queer communities.

Cedar is currently on hunger strike in Barton Jail, one other person has been arrested and released and more arrests may be imminent. Read more about it here, here and here on North Shore Counter-Info; continue to let the Hamilton Police know that we fucking see them and we want Cedar to be released immediately (first dial #31# from most cell phones or *67 from a landline if you want to keep your number private); or get together with others to organize a solidarity action large or small.