Activists are scrambling to help their own after the NYPD arrested up to five and used pepper spray on those marching in commemoration of the Stonewall Inn Uprising.
A spokesperson with Reclaim Pride says they are working with the lawyers guild to provide “jail support” for those arrested after an incident near Fifth Avenue as the group of possibly thousands were marching into Washington Square Park, the terminus of the procession.
Marti Gould Cummings, a candidate for City Council and a drag artist, posted video of the incident to Twitter which showed a person being arrested while others can be seen pouring water into their eyes, supposedly to relieve the effects of pepper spray. The crowd chanted “let him go.”
The incidents leading up to the police reaction are not known to us and NYPD’s press office said they do cannot offer clarity at this time.
Police pepper sprayed peaceful demonstrators on the anniversary of stonewall outside Washington square park pic.twitter.com/3X2S2E31ep
— Marti Gould Cummings (@MartiGCummings) June 28, 2020
This year’s pride celebrations were performed in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement, which the Queer Liberation March took special care to recognize as they started their parade from Foley Square, past the Stonewall where it would end up in the park. Jay W. Walker, the founder of the organization, made special mention of George Floyd and those in the Occupy City Hall demonstration now in its sixth day.
Fifty-one years ago, a number of members of the LGBT community rose up against a police raid which was viewed as discrimination against their community. The standoff came symbolize the beginning of the LGBT liberation movement and the overturning of homophobic laws.