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Queering the G20

Resistance gets fierce and fabulous

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

Photo: Activestills
Photo: Activestills
Photo: Activestills
Photo: Activestills
Photo: Activestills
Photo: Activestills
Photo: Activestills
Photo: Activestills

Hundreds of people took over the Queen and Yonge street intersection yesterday, many fabulously dressed in sequins, boas, fishnet stockings and lots of hot pink. Dozens of police watched as participants chanted, made music, and made out. 

“We’re queer, we’re fabulous, we’re against the G20!” they shouted.

Ro Velasquez, a member of the Queer Resistance Network, helped organize the march.  “We know the G20 represents the rich and the few,” she said.  “We’ve organized a carnival of resistance.”

Queer people – like many other oppressed groups – are targeted and further marginalized under the current system, said Velasquez.

“Queer people are people of colour.  Queer people are criminalized every day by police brutality.  Queer people are not let into this country because of their gender and their immigration status. Queer people are poor. Queer people have disabilities. Queer people need special diets, they need the welfare rates to go up by 40%, and this is not happening in our city,” explained Velasquez.

The demonstration was surrounded by police on all sides.  “No sexist police, no justice, no peace!” chanted the crowd. 

“We have a history of resisting police brutality, of resisting against the state’s repression of our bodies,” said Velasquez. “We knew there would be a lot of cops out here. We decided to take it on.”

"Off our backs.  Stop policing queer and trans bodies," read a banner carried by Jordan Roberts.  Roberts travelled from Halifax with members of FLAP (Feminist League of Agitation and Propaganda) to participate in G20 demonstrations. 

"We wanted to join the communities that are organizing and mobiliziing in Toronto and Ontario to support them and act in solidarity," said Roberts.  "We are here to oppose the G8/G20 and one major message today is to oppose the police presence in Toronto." 

Increased policing disproportionately affects queer and trans people who are often unfairly and unjustly targeted by police, said Roberts. 

As the group began to disperse one organizer made an announcement into the megaphone.

“The streets are not safe these days,” she yelled, referring to the increased police presence. “Stay in groups. Make sure that none of us are taken down and we show them how fucking fierce we are!”

Curious as to why tens of thousands are protesting the G8/G20 summits?  Go to for up to the minute G20 and G8 Summit Protest Reporting, straight 'outta the Alternative Media Centre!

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Topics: Gender

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dru (Dru Oja Jay)
Member since January 2008


Writer, organizer, Media Co-op co-founder. Co-author of Paved with Good Intentions and Offsetting Resistance.

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