Fwd: What are you doing on June 30th?

Dear friends of Historians for Peace and Democracy,

The following email from Leslie Cagan, a longtime progressive leader (and former National Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice), highlights a major historical anniversary coming up—the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, and a Queer Liberation March in New York that counters the corporate-sponsored “Pride” events taking place nationwide.  We thought it was important enough to share with all of you.

Very best,

Van Gosse, Co-Chair

Begin forwarded message:

From: Leslie Cagan <lesliecagan@igc.org>
Subject: What are you doing on June 30th?
Date: June 9, 2019 at 3:38:08 PM EDT

(This is a little long, but I hope you’ll take a moment to read it.)

Three weeks from today, on June 30th, the Queer Liberation March will take to the streets of NYC with the same commitment expressed 50 years ago when gender non-conforming women of color, queer youth, drag queens, sex workers, lesbians, gay men and radical allies stood up to the NY Police Department in 3 nights of active resistance in the streets around the Stonewall Inn. I am contacting you now to encourage your participation in and support of the Queer Liberation March, a protest event that will commemorate our history while centering ourselves in the very real and urgent struggles of this moment.

Some of you might be wondering why you are getting this message: you might not live in or close to NYC, or you might not identify as queer. Not too worry, this message is for you as well as queer New Yorkers.  Please keep reading.

While the Queer Liberation March will be honoring the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall and calling attention to the ongoing and often deadly assaults on our communities, we welcome the participation of everyone! If you have had it with everything the Trump administration is doing – attacks on immigrants, implicit and sometimes even explicit support for Neo-Nazis, all-out assaults on women, denial of science and undoing even the most basic steps to slow down the climate crisis, saber rattling and threats of war, undermining democracy and more – if you have had it with all of that, then this march is for you! If you stand with the queer community, then this march is for you!

We all gather just below Sheridan Square next to the Stonewall Inn. At 9:30am we’ll begin our march up 6th Ave. to Central Park, following the route of the first Christoper Street Liberation Front March. Our day will end with a rally on the Great Lawn. Just to be clear, the Queer Liberation March is an alternative to the Heritage of Pride/World Pride Parade that same day. The difference in our names should give you a clue as to why there are two events, and more background information is included at the end of this memo.

There are several ways you can help us in these next 3 weeks as our organizing kicks into high gear, some are for folks here in NYC but some of these are things you can do from anywhere:
  • Help get the word out. Share this message, or some version of it, with friends and family, with co-workers and people you are politically active with. Send it to organizations you are part of and ask them to share it with their membership. Connect with our social media presence and use your social media platforms. (Links are on our website.)
  • Make a financial donation today. We are about $30,000 shy of reaching our budget of $180,000 – which is a really small budget for an undertaking of this scale. It would be wonderful if we can raise that amount by next weekend. I believe that is doable, but only if we get support from many people all around the country. We need the money, and making a tax-deductible donation could not be easier, just click here  (Click here if you need information for how to mail in a check. And let me know if you want to make a large anonymous donation or if you have any questions at all.) Remember: there is no such thing as a donation that is too large, or too small…it all helps!

I hope you will find a way to support this timely and important effort. We all love a good party, but as we celebrate our history and honor those on whose shoulders we stand, we are committed to re-igniting a queer movement that is bold in our vision, committed to the hard work of struggle, and stands in solidarity with others throughout this country and around the world.

see you in the streets,

Leslie Cagan


After years of mounting frustration with the HOP parade, we created a very grassroots grouping called the Reclaim Pride Coalition. Since last fall, and increasingly since the beginning of this year, we’ve been steadily building our alternative Queer Liberation March. Check out the Reclaim Pride website for a lot more information and take a moment to read our Why We March statement – it clearly lays out the political perspective we are organizing around.

Our priority is to focus attention on the most marginalized and oppressed groups within the broader LGBTQ+ community…people of color, trans folk, etc., etc. And we are also committed to making the connections between the struggles of our communities with those of many other people in this country and around the world.

We have planned a full day for June 30 – a day that we believe will both reflect the militant and righteous actions of the Stonewall Rebellion 50 years ago and be grounded in the real issues and battles of today. For sure, we all love a good party, but now is the time to re-ignite a fighting spirit in our collective communities. The HOP organizers wouldn’t do that (last summer we tried to convince them to do but they refused) so we decided to take this on ourselves.

Our day will begin at 9:30 am just south of Sheridan Square where the Stonewall Inn is located. We’ll march north on 6th Ave, making a brief stop of Bryant Park to pick up folks who either can’t do the long march route and/or those who cannot join is so early in the morning. We’ll then continue uptown and into Central Park heading north to the Great Lawn for a rally. Yes, it’s a long march but it takes the same route as the original march on the first anniversary of Stonewall.