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NYPD attacks Pride march on the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising

A Pride march held on the Stonewall uprising’s 51st anniversary descended into chaos and violence that many say was reminiscent of the same violence inflicted upon the LGBTQ community in 1968 during the Stonewall uprisings,  as NYPD officers attacked and pepper sprayed peaceful demonstrators.

Videos from the Queer Liberation March on Sunday show NYC police officers violently shove and curse at protesters, fling a cyclist off her bicycle and unleash pepper spray.

The scenes unfolded as the march, organized by the Reclaim Pride Coalition, reached Washington Square Park. Statements from the group condemned the violence and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

“I wish that I could say what I saw today was shocking, but how could I reasonably expect anything else from the NYPD?” said Jake Tolan, a march organizer, in a statement. 

“51 years after the Stonewall Rebellion, the NYPD is still responding to peaceful, powerful, righteous queer joy with pepper spray, batons, and handcuffs. Thank you, Commissioner Shea and the entire NYPD, for continuing to show us why you should be abolished.”

The New York Post reported that officers clashed with demonstrators after a Brooklyn man apparently  vandalized a patrol car with a black marker. They also report that police arrested two other people on accusations that they assaulted cops. 

After the arrests, police started to rush protesters who responded with chants of “Whose streets? Our streets?” The clashes then escalated into the chaotic, violent pepper-spray laced confrontations, which have been shared millions of times on social media.

“The police just started a riot at Washington square park,” read one tweet.

“Stonewall was an act of resistance against the police and now your cops are f—ing beating people and arresting them at a demonstration in Washington Square Park?” another person tweeted in a video from the march. “F—ing resign.”

Several New York City politicians condemned the police. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted a “full investigation” is necessary.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, appeared on WABC-TV’s live broadcast of the NYC Pride march, not far from where the chaos began. 

“[NYC Pride is] One of the most joyous, positive, warm events of the entire year in New York City, and it’s an event filled with solidarity, filled with love, but at the same time we’re going to make it happen a different way,” said de Blasio. 

“The feeling doesn’t go away just because of the coronavirus, and there’s actually an even more powerful feeling of solidarity this year, in terms of the rights of LGBTQ people, but also the rights of Black people, people of color in this country – there’s sense of solidarity between all communities that have had to fight and struggle together.”

Bear World Magazine has reached out to the Mayor’s Office several times for comments regarding the police violence inflicted upon the marchers, but we have not yet received a response.

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