July 31, 2020
The murder of George Floyd by police, caught on camera, was the catalyst for protests against police brutality around the world. But police have a long history of violence against Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, in Canada and elsewhere. In recent months, Indigenous, Black and Persons of Colour who have died during interactions with the police include Chantel Moore, Rodney Levi and Ejaz Ahmed Choudry.
We also remember the violent and discriminatory history of police in dealing with queer and trans people. Too often, we have been disproportionately targeted for enforcement activities, and our experiences of homophobic and transphobic harassment and violence ignored or downplayed. Police continue to overpolice and under-protect many segments of Canadian society, including Indigenous and Black people, People of Colour, trans people, sex workers, people who use drugs and others.
In solidarity with Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community who are protesting police brutality and systemic racism, we are joining other Pride festivals across Canada by announcing that any visible police presence is not welcome at the Yukon Pride festival. This means:
Although there is no planned police involvement in the 2020 Yukon Pride Festival to this point, this decision will stand for future years. As an organization, Queer Yukon Society prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will continue to listen to, and take direction from, our community members on this issue, and in particular queer and trans Indigenous, Black and people of colour. We have communicated this decision to the RCMP. We continue to call for police accountability on these issues, as well as comprehensive reforms to end violent and discriminatory police practices and institutionalized racism in Canada and around the world.
In Pride & Solidarity,
Queer Yukon Society Board of Directors
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About queer yukon society
Queer Yukon Society supports, promotes, and organizes events for the LGBTQ2S+ community and our allies in Whitehorse, Yukon. Officially incorporated in 2018, Queer Yukon has been organizing Yukon Pride since 2013, as well as many other events to bring together LGBTQ2S+ and allied Yukoners to build a strong and vibrant community.