Home > Uncategorized > Statement from the No Pride In Policing Coalition on the Pride Toronto AGM

Statement from the No Pride In Policing Coalition on the Pride Toronto AGM

December 10th, 2018

 No Pride in Policing Coalition Says,

“Pride Toronto No Longer Represents Us”

Soon after the start of the December 4th Pride Toronto Annual General Meeting (AGM), Pride Toronto abruptly and without a vote, shut down the meeting. When it became clear that the majority of the membership didn’t support the direction of the Pride Toronto board and staff during a pre-AGM discussion, rather than allowing motions from the floor to address police presence at Pride, the chair declared the meeting adjourned without explanation or vote.

Following adjournment, and after being told we had to leave by the chair, more than 50 Pride Toronto members held a brief meeting. This unofficial meeting of Pride Toronto members passed a motion stating, “There will be no organized or institutional police presence in Pride.” Forty members, a clear majority of the members present at the meeting, voted in favour of this motion.

The AGM came just weeks after Pride Toronto invited the Toronto Police Service back into Pride without consulting members. Pride Toronto’s invitation directly contravenes two consecutive AGM membership votes which were overwhelmingly in favour of excluding police presence in Pride. These motions recognized the decades of violence LGBTQ, Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPoC) have experienced from the police.

Pride Toronto allowed for a 40 minute “open discussion on police presence in Pride” before the AGM officially started. This so-called ‘discussion’ had no decision-making powers and was a superficial stand-in for real impactful political discussion. Pride Toronto addressed the questions posed by members through avoidance, refusal and a deceitful game of semantics about police presence. Pride Toronto never spoke to the central issue: Why has Pride Toronto made the undemocratic decision to invite the police back into Pride?

Pride Toronto’s shutting down of their AGM represents a powerful message to all queer communities, telling us that our interests and concerns are not at the heart of Pride Toronto as it currently exists. Rather than take direction from its own members, Pride Toronto chose to shut down the membership, instead prioritizing its relations with the state and the police. This meeting represented a clear failure of Pride Toronto to be accountable to their membership and the broader LGBTQ, Queer and Trans BIPoC communities and as such does not represent or speak for them. The No Pride in Policing Coalition has declared this process undemocratic and a betrayal of the LGBTQ, Queer and Trans BIPoC communities.

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