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At least two marches centering on Black trans Chicagoans planned for June 28 SEE UPDATE
by Matt Simonette and Tim Peacock
2020-06-24

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UPDATE: ACTIVATE:CHI march and rally cancelled. www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/rally-cancelled/68818.html .

The grassroots activist organization ACTIVATE:CHI announced June 19 that it is collaborating with a number of local organizations and businesses, among them Chicago Pride and Northalsted Business Alliance, for a Sunday, June 28, march that promises to focus on members of the Black transgender community.

Titled "Black Trans Lives Matter: A BLM Pride Protest," the seven-mile march will kick off in Uptown at 11 a.m. and proceed to a rally in Grant Park, presumably following much of the route of the Chicago Pride Parade, which was cancelled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers said in a statement, "The current political, social and economic climate, coupled with the clear inability of our government to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities, spurred the organizers of Chicago Pride to connect with ACTIVATE:CHI to reinstate this year's Pride as a march. The plan is to create a pro-POC LGBTQ+ march, with a specific focus on the discrimination and injustice faced by the Black Trans Community.

Organizers said their demands included "the immediate reallocation of funds for the CPD budget, civilian oversight of law enforcement in Chicago and nationwide, an end to qualified immunity and the reinstatement of transgender civil rights protections in health care."

ACTIVATE:CHI describes itself as "a collective of multicultural and multigenerational community organizers initially brought together by our hunger for justice in the brutal police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. We seek to dismantle the racist systems oppressing our vulnerable communities through peaceful grassroots organizing."

For more information, visit activate-chi.net/initiatives/june-28th.

However, several advocacy groups will hold a separate march on the same day to highlight Black and Brown voices ( especially of the transgender community )—and this event seems to be a different one than another slated to kick off from Uptown the same day.

During an organizing meeting held June 20, Pride Without Prejudice and Reclaim Pride March ( two groups organizing marches with similar underlying goals ) merged to form one march that will begin at the Belmont Red Line station Sunday, June 28, at 12 p.m.

"We will unapologetically highlight issues of racism, police violence, and the obscene amount of money spent on a militarized police, and a military which polices the world," the organizing groups said in their public invitation to participate in the event. "In so doing, we will be honoring the rich, but largely forgotten history of the Stonewall Rebellion and the movement that followed it." ( In an email to Windy City Times, co-organizer Andy Thayer called the other planned march one that is "connected with the overpriced, rightly maligned event that was scheduled for there last year." )

This march—now called the Pride Without Prejudice/Reclaim Pride March, will lead participants north from its starting point and feature speakers from several local advocacy organizations. The march boasts endorsements from Community Cave Chicago, LADhoc Accounting, the National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression, and the Woman's March-IL. The event is additionally co-hosted by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

For more information on the event, visit "Pride Without Prejudice / Reclaim Pride March" on Facebook.


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