GJL Statement About Right Wing Protesters at Trans Pride
Two weeks ago, we were alerted that a right-wing MAGA group is planning a march at the exact same date and time as Trans Pride Seattle, and we have taken action to assure that our event will be safe for everyone to attend. We’d like to give everyone an update.
In the seven years since Trans Pride Seattle started, we have had to put together a well trained security team from within our community to Secure Ourselves and reduce the need for a police presence. Each year that team has become better prepared for any disruptions and anti-trans protesters. After the news of this possible right wing march, there was an outpouring of people offering to volunteer for our security team or donate money to help cover the cost of having paid security. We now have over 50 security volunteers and are confident our security plan will prevent any significant disruptions from impacting our event.
It is also worth noting that the organizers of the right wing march have claimed that they are not protesting any pride event and will stay downtown, miles away from Trans Pride. That means that our highest concern is small groups or individuals who leave the march itself with the intention of disrupting our event - something we are well prepared for. We also are prepared for the possibility that changes.
Trans Pride is a city-permitted free speech event. As such, anyone who attempts to disrupt it is interfering with our free speech and they are not protected by the first amendment. It is the City’s responsibility to intervene in those cases. The police have always found it necessary to be at our event. Because an increased police presence can create a lot of anxiety and a lot of uncertainty, in the past we’ve talked with them to make sure their presence, while close enough to assist when requested, stays outside of Trans Pride itself, and we expect them to do the same this year as well.
We are proud of our community coming together in response to these concerns, and are grateful to everyone who has signed up to volunteer or donated. The best response to any anti-trans elements involved in this is to come together anyway, march, be proud, and show them that we are not going to go away.
And finally, a message from the Head of Security for Trans Pride Seattle 2019:
“We are well aware of the MAGA marches/rallies that are scheduled during the same time as Trans Pride Seattle 2019. We are taking every measure to ensure everyone's safety and have the largest security team that we have ever had. On the day of the event, if you would like an escort while leaving the event, please go to the volunteer coordination area and check in with security there. They will arrange for you to get an escort to mass transit, your vehicle, or a near by location."
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