"NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate. The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason. NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community," NYC Pride organizers said in a statement.
Beginning in June, corrections and law enforcement exhibitors will be banned at Pride events until 2025.
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Instead of relying on the NYPD to provide security, organizers say NYC Pride will use community-based security and first-responders, including trained private security, community leaders and volunteers.
"An increased budget for security and first response will allow NYC Pride to independently build a first response emergency plan using private security and provide safety volunteers with de-escalation training for first response when necessary. NYPD will provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials," organizers said.
"Our annual work to ensure a safe, enjoyable Pride season has been increasingly embraced by its participants. The idea of officers being excluded is disheartening and runs counter to our shared values of inclusion and tolerance. That said, we’ll still be there to ensure traffic safety and good order during this huge, complex event," the NYPD said in response to the changes.
"Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large scale event to occur without police presence. So their response to activist pressure is to take the low road by preventing their fellow community members from celebrating their identities and honoring the shared legacy of the Stonewall Riots," said Gay Officers Action League President Brian Downey in a statement.
NYC Pride announced in February that its theme for 2021 was "The Fight Continues."
The NYC Pride March is scheduled to occur virtually on June 27.