Internationalist Queer Pride for Liberation 2021 Anticolonial, antiracist, anticapitalist march
24.07.2021 17:00 Hermannplatz
We are here and we are queer — in every shade, size, and shape! We are so much more than the limited imaginations of cis, white, state-sponsored pinkwashing parades and rainbow capitalism.
🌍 We want to live in a world where our genders and sexualities are not used by companies and governments to hide their human rights abuses! 🔨 We want to dismantle racist colonial structures and inequality! ❤️ We want to rethink our world in a revolutionary way: in our hearts, minds, bodies, friendships and relationships! 🌻 We want to take to the streets of Berlin and reflect our beautiful, diverse queer realities in all of th
10,000 Marchers Demand Intersectional Queer Liberation At Berlin’s First Internationalist Pride
On Saturday 24 July 2021, over 10,000 people took to the streets for Berlin’s first Internationalist, anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-capitalist Pride march. Held on the same day as the mainstream Christopher Street Day parade, the march was the most representative queer Pride demonstration ever to take place in the city, bringing together diverse queer communities under the banner “none of us are free, until all of us are free”. More than 450 viewers joined the simultaneous livestream.
Berlin’s queer movement has hit a milestone. In 2019 police were called to remove pro-Palestinian queers from a so-called “radical Pride” march. This year the very same streets echoed with thousands of marchers chanting “Free, Free Palestine”, “Hoch die Internationale Solidarität” and “Aqui, está, la resistencia trans!”
Organised by a coalition including QuARC, Bloque Latinoamericano, Migrantifa Berlin, Jewish Bund, Palestine Speaks, Constellation of Liberation, Berlin Migrant Strikers, BDS Berlin, and Berlin Against Pinkwashing, the demonstration created a space for everyone in Berlin who is not represented by either the commercial CSD, or the white-centric activist networks.
Marchers carried giant fists, papier mâché roses, and signs reading “Sisters and brothers of Poland and Hungary you are not alone”, “Jewish Queers for a Free Palestine”, and “Free Egypt’s Tiktok Women!”
The demo was made up of many self-organized blocks, including queers with disabilities, an anti-Bolsonaro block, queer Palestinians, the Jewish Bund, Kurdish queers, Syrian revolution queers, and an Abya Yala – Sudaka – Latino block. Powerful speeches were given by Migrantifa, queer Palestinian activists, the Jewish Bund, MAD and Disability Pride, DW Enteignen, International Women* Space, Bloque Latino Americano, and the queer Polish activists of Constellation of Liberation.
“All refugees are denied the right to choose where they want to stay, but it even gets worse with LGBTQI+ refugees who face danger and discrimination in everyday life. We demand the right to safe housing, not isolated from LGBTQI+ communities and wider society! We demand the right to choose where we live. We demand for Germany to take charge like it did in 1884 while partitioning the African continent, to do the same now and serve a formal apology to countries affected by colonialism, followed by the return of antiques and artefacts back to where they belong, the motherland. Reparations are not up for discussion; they are way overdue. And we should dictate the terms. We demand an expanded curriculum in schools, teaching extensively about Germany’s colonial past, racism, and a more diversified education covering gender and sexuality.” – Marlize, Kenyan trans activist.
“The Israeli state spies on us and uses our sexuality and gender identity to blackmail and threaten us, in an attempt to weaponise society’s homophobia against us. All the while, it projects a virtuous image of its respect for gay rights. But there is no pride in occupation. There is no pride and no safety under colonisation, no pride in apartheid. We refuse to be used as a tool for the Israeli occupation to pinkwash its image before the world. Our freedom as queers is inseparable from our freedom as Palestinians.” – a queer Palestinian activist.
“All and any fights against fascism, imperialism, and fundamentalism, against capitalism, are all part of our same internationalist fight for liberation. This is why we are here today. To use one of the main slogans from the Polish protests – you will never walk alone!” – an activist from Constellation of Liberation.
“Just like queer liberation, Jews and antisemitism are often instrumentalized to justify racism against Palestinians, against Muslims and Arabs. We refuse this role! Queer spaces must be defended against gentrification and must be liberated from nationalism, Zionism, and all forms of white supremacy.”- an activist from Jewish Bund.
During the demonstration, some right-wing “journalists” began to take close-up photos of participants. When organisers demanded the photographers respect the marchers’ privacy, the journalists claimed they had suffered attacks on their press freedom. Asking journalists to refrain from taking portrait photos without consent does not impinge on press freedom. Despite this harassment and police violence during the demonstration, the Pride march continued to the end of the planned route. Two people were arrested during the march; both were released within an hour and are being supported by the demonstration organisers.
The march organisers stand rooted in their convictions, in their commitment to the struggle for a Free Palestine, and in solidarity with all oppressed peoples. As a broad and diverse group with members and supporters from many different backgrounds and identities, organisers politics are both radical and soft, guided by revolutionary love and rooted in principles of justice, equality, care, and liberation.
The Internationalist Pride showed that while our struggles might differ, we are many, and together we can be a powerful force against the status quo. In the words of Marsha P. Johnson, one of the mothers of the trans and queer liberation movement, there is “no Pride for some of us, without liberation for all of us”.
ANTI-RACIST, ANTI-COLONIAL, ANTI-CAPITALIST, QUEER PRIDE FOR LIBERATION 24.07.2021
This year QuARC, Bloque Latinoamericano, Migrantifa Berlin, Jewish Bund, Palestine Speaks, Constellation of Liberation, Berlin Migrant Strikers, BDS Berlin, and Berlin Against Pinkwashing have organised something historic: the most diverse and representative queer pride demonstration ever to take place in Berlin.
The Internationalist Queer Pride for Liberation on Saturday 24th July brings together Berlin’s radical queer, anti-colonial and anti-racist communities under the banner “none of us are free, until all of us are free”.
On the same day as the official CSD parade in central Berlin, the Internationalist Pride will wind through Neukölln and Kreuzberg, stopping for speeches, and to mark locations which speak to a wider queer experience than the Pink-washed, corporate mainstream event. From racial profiling and gentrification to police brutality and white supremacism – these are examples of the struggles that for us represent the true spirit of pride.
For those who can’t join the demo on the streets, a simultaneous livestream will take place via twitch.tv/QuARC_Berlin, featuring speeches, performances, interviews, and solidarity statements from around the world.
Our liberation will be intersectional. We stand together; Black people, People of Colour, Roma and Sinti, Jews, migrants, Muslims, people without housing, sex workers, disabled people, precarious workers, trans* people, refugees and asylum seekers, intersex people, and Indigenous peoples everywhere. From Latin America, to the Philippines, to Palestine, to Tigray. From Western Sahara, to Kurdistan, to Kashmir. From the factories to the farms. From the urban to the rural, for climate justice and animal liberation. We are wholeheartedly committed to challenging the structures of white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. We will not allow corporations to commodify our sexualities and make profit off our backs while they continue to inflict grave economic and social injustices.
The march is made up of many self-organized blocs, including queers with disabilities, an anti-Bolsonaro bloc, queer Palestinians, a Jewish Bund bloc, Kurdish queers, Syrian revolution queers, an Abya Yala – Sudaka – Latino block, and many more. Protestors will carry signs reading: “LAND BACK”, “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi”, “Palestine is a queer issue” and “sex work is work” while marchers carry giant papier mâché roses and fists through the streets. The protest will be loud, with chants of “Palestina, Kurdistan! Intifada, serhildan!” and “Hoch die Internationale Solidarität”.
Beginning at Hermannplatz at 17:00, protesters will gather and listen to speeches from Migrantifa, a queer Palestinian activist, and a Trans* sex worker. From there the march moves up to Kottbussser Tor to hear queer activists from the DW Enteignen campaign speak against gentrification, followed by solidarity statements from the Jewish Bund and MAD and Disability pride. Next the march heads to the recently renamed “Audre Lorde Strasse” for speeches from trans Kenyan activist Marlize Andre, and solidarity statements from the organisations “Bloque Latino Americano” and the queer polish activists of “Constellation of Liberation”. From there, the demo will move to Oranienplatz for a closing speech from activists involved in the squatter refugee movement of 2012 about the migrant and refugee struggles in the city. The whole event will come to a jubilant finale with a program of performances and music until 22:00.
QuARC Queers Against Racism and Colonialism formed and continues to organise out of a need for a more representative, internationalist politics among the 2SLGBTQIA+ left in Berlin. A politics that represents an understanding of how structures of racism, colonialism, patriarchy and capitalism intersect, and why solidarity with anti-colonial struggles the world over is a crucial foundation of any effective organising.
Bloque Latinoamericano Berlin Network of Latinamerican social and political organisations in Berlin. Leftist, Feminist, and Internationalist.
Migrantifa Berlin By migrants, for migrants. Yallah!
Jewish Bund Jewish Antifascist Bund Berlin based Bundists fighting for social justice, labour rights and doikayt in the 21st Century.
Palestine Speaks Coalition for the rights of Palestinians and against racism
Constellation of Liberation Berlin-based, Polish speaking, Queer-Feminist collective
Berlin Migrant Strikers Migrant and precarious self-organisation in the global metropolis
BDS Berlin BDS Berlin is part of the world-wide BDS movement, which supports the Palestinian civil-society call in 2005.
Berlin Against Pinkwashing Activists challenging the instrumentalisation of LGBTQI* issues by Israel to mask its human rights violations in occupied Palestine
Quotes and statements:
“The transgression of sexual and gender boundaries is only the beginning of radical queer politics. We say: Enough with capitalist corporate CSD. Enough with homonationalism and pinkwashing of the racist German state. Enough with the white German hold of queer politics and spaces of Berlin!” – an activist from Jewish Bund
“All our fights are interconnected. All and any fights against fascism, imperialism, and fundamentalism, against capitalism, are all part of our same internationalist fight for liberation. This is why we are here today. This is why we will keep talking about Palestine. This is why our name is CoLiberation – we believe we need each other to achieve liberation. So let’s liberate each other! And to use one of the main slogans from the Polish protests – you will never walk alone!” – an activist from Constellation of Liberation
We are trying to make this protest as accessible as possible. The Hermannplatz U-Bahn and Kottbusser Tor U-Bahn stations both have elevators. The U-Bahn station at Moritzplatz does not have an elevator.
There is a medic team at the demo, and a support vehicle at the back of the march for anyone who needs a rest or is not able to walk for the whole march.
We are still searching for a DGS interpreter (paid) to translate the speeches at the demo. If you can recommend someone please send us an email to email@example.com. Likewise if you have any specific access needs or questions about accessibility, please email us and we will do our best to accommodate you.
We will begin the demo at 17:00 with speeches at Hermannplatz.
From there the march goes along: Kottbusser Damm — Kottbusser Tor — Skalitzer Straße — Audre-Lorde-Straße (previously Manteuffelstraße) — Waldemarstraße — Adalbertstraße — Oranienstraße — Oranienplatz.
Then we will stay at Oranienplatz for speeches, peformances and music until 22:00.
Water and toilets Here are the places you can find free drinking water along the route, and public toilets. We recommend you bring a drink bottle and refill it as needed. 💦
Covid-19 is a social justice issue that overwhelmingly touches queer people, especially from communities of color, migrant communities, working-class communities, communities fighting against colonialism and war, the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions and other vulnerabilities.
Our pride march is attended by many that are suffering from these vulnerabilities. So we will be walking in solidarity and care towards each other. By joining our pride march, you agree to: ** Wear a mask that fully covers your nose and mouth. ** Keep the mask on *the whole time* while in the demo. ** Keep a distance of 1.5 meters at least from other people, including your friends and comrades. ** Use hand-sanitizer before and after touching things that can be touched by other people.
Our Ordner*nnen and members of our organizing team, who will be wearing distinctive vests, will do their best to enforce the rules above. We also encourage you to help us by gently reminding others around you to follow the guidelines in case they are not. The Ordner*innen and the oragnizing team will also carry some extra masks and hand-sanitizer: please ask them for these if you need them.
If you want to smoke, drink, breathe more freely or speak on the phone without a mask on, we kindly ask you to do this on the sidelines, even better outside of the demo. In any case, we ask you to keep a greater distance from other participants and turn away from them.
Solidarity and mutual care is our biggest strength. Let’s keep each other safe!
We invite flags and symbols that represent antiracist, indigenous, anticolonial, queer*trans*feminist, anti-ableist and/or workers’ struggles and resistance. Military and police uniforms are not welcome.
We will have a full livestream for the entire duration of the demo, that can be watched worldwide for those who can’t join us on the streets, featuring:
speeches and performances
interviews with people in the demo
solidarity statements from around the world
To safeguard the privacy of all participants we will not film the crowd, we will only film people who consent to appear on camera. Our filming crews will be indentifiable and wearing high-visibility vests – please approach them if you have any privacy concerns!
It is a priority for us to ensure that our pride march is a safer space for our community. In this spirit, we do not welcome people with exclusionary, racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, nationalist or right-wing views, placards, or statements.
Transphobia and any kind of anti-trans hostility has no place in queer liberation or in feminism. Trans Exclusionary Radical “Feminists” are not welcome at our march.
There is no liberation for any of us without Palestinian liberation. The so-called anti-Deutsch are not welcome at this event.
We stand for decriminalization of sex work and oppose politics that stigmatize and vulnerate sex workers safety and rights. Groups who are against sex workers’ rights are not welcome at the march.
The queer liberation march will have a dedicated and clearly visible “awareness team”, to ensure as much as possible the safety of our attendees. We are not able to guarantee the safety of participants, but we will do all in our power to ensure that our community feel safe, protected and empowered on this day of protest and pride.