Students vote to ban police from Pride
Transgender students have voted to try and block police from attending Pride events – branding them racist, classist and transphobic.
A battle on the issue took place at the National Union of Students transgender conference last week.
Students voted to pass the motion ‘No Pride in the Police’, submitted by University of Manchester Students Union.
The motion vowed to “support and organise actions against police presence at Prides” because “many trans people have faced mistreatment and violence at the hands of the police”.
It resolved “to encourage Prides to not have a police presence as part of parades, especially Pride events organised by students unions”.
The motion explained: “The police disproportionately target trans people, along with sex workers, working class communities and communities of colour for policing, leading to an increase in those groups in the prison population.”
A further motion approved by the conference backed the “abolition of prisons” – apparently calling for all prisoners in the UK to be freed and released into the community.
A candidate for NUS President, Tom Harwood, attacked the “damaging” moves.
Mr Harwood told PinkNews: “This motion and too many others like it make it clear that the NUS has been hijacked by extreme fringe activists who do not come close to representing the views of students.”
He added that “these damaging motions only serve to de-legitimise our student movement.”
It is not the first time police presence at Pride has been challenged.
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Earlier this year Pride Toronto board members voted to ban LGBT police from participating in its Pride parade, after a highly controversial clash with Black Lives Matter protesters.
In July last year, the Canadian city’s Pride parade ground to an unexpected halt when Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted the event, refusing to let the march continue until organisers agreed to a string of demands.
The group, who criticised the event’s alleged “anti-blackness” in a statement, only agreed to let the parade continue when Pride Toronto organisers signed a “contract” that commits to more funding for minority events and the removal of police floats at future Prides.
In January, Pride Toronto board members narrowly agreed to ban the police from marching in uniform, having a float, or having a stall. Individual police officers will be able to march, but only if they agree not to march in uniform.