Below is one of two leaflets the Working Class Queeroes distributed to hundreds at Dublin Pride 2017. The other was a leaflet against Israeli pinkwashing.
YOU ONLY GAVE US RIGHTS
‘COS WE GAVE YOU RIOTS!
Pride is more than a parade; it’s a protest. Until we can truly be ourselves without a hint of fear, until there is true liberation for all people, we have a bone to pick and if we are going to be liberated, we can’t allow the corporate sponsors call the shots.
Remember that Pride began because of the five-day Stonewall Riots in 1969, involving volleys of bricks, bottles, and cobblestones launched at police. Pride is a gasp for freedom by the gutter people, a fist raised in defiance of a social order which has forced pink triangles on our bodies and inside our own minds.
That’s why we, the Working Class Queeroes bloc, are marching today with our banner “You Only Gave Us Rights ‘Cos We Gave You Riots” and why we’ve marched here for several years. We care about Pride and want to bring it back to what it was about all along. Sadly Pride has been commercialised. Instead of promoting queer liberation, LGB(T)’s are marching to promote corporations. But real progress means no corporations, and not being used by them for profit because we’re convenient now.
LinkedIn – Google – Bank of Ireland – Twitter. No group should be at the centre of both Pride and the financial crisis of 2008. These companies screw us into the ground for the profit of their owners, while we struggle to afford our rent, mortgage, healthcare, or to spend our short lives the way we want. Apart from the spying, tax evasion, exploitation and anti-unionised work environments.
Not to mention the dull-as-dishwater political parties trying to chase enough pink credibility to get in power and keep things the same. All of this is called pinkwashing: using supposed concern for LGBT+ people to cover up for harm to others. And in 2017, Dublin Pride is washed out.
We want a queer movement which is set on freedom, not fitting in. A movement which includes all queers, not just those who can best adapt to straight cis society, have lots of money, and have citizenship. We are beautiful people as we are, it is society that must change.
Our trans friends are at the centre of this struggle, our sex worker friends are real workers, our bi friends exist, and our movement must also include our intersex, asexual, and non-binary friends.
We are the working class: the vast majority of people who produce the wealth in society. We create society every day with our brains, hands, and hearts. That’s where our unity and power lies; not in a right-wing piranha Taoiseach who happens to be gay. A working class queero is something to be.
We celebrated the victory for Marriage Equality and the Gender Recognition Act, but we have so far yet to go in a society where we can still face bullying, physical attack, workplace and state discrimination, for our gender or sexuality. Queer people are very much oppressed in Ireland today.
Being queer is an opportunity to break the mould. Why rebel against only one thing? ‘There is no such thing as single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives’. Queer liberation demands abortion rights, women’s liberation, a co-operative economy, direct democracy, and a borderless planet.
We must understand the need for building solidarity among struggles of all the oppressed; and we’re going to have to reclaim pride as part of our push back against all these forces that hurt us.
Find us at workingclassqueeroes.wordpress.com