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OccuPride broke through the Market Street barriers to assume second place after the Dykes on Bikes at San Francisco’s 42nd annual Pride celebration. Those of us who remember the pride marches of the early 70’s believe that Pride is about more than celebration. What does Pride mean to you?

The Pride celebration has become increasingly commercialized, co-opted by corporate interests that use our struggle for liberation as a market for commodities and a way to boost profit. 

These interests – the top of the 1% – parade status quo candidates and parties for our consumption, wearing a progressive mask of LGBT equality while marginalizing and criminalizing the poor and disempowered. In doing so they seek to divide our community, catering only to those of us with money to spend. But the queer and trans communities are more than the affluent; we are also the disempowered, the homeless, the sick, the victims of discrimination and violence.

So we must Occupy Pride. We honor our radical roots in our fight for full liberation for all of us – women, people of color, immigrants, the disabled, all the oppressed and marginalized. We are diverse, joined together in struggle – we are the 99%. We must tear down the barriers that divide us to build and nurture an inclusive community, celebrating our forgotten histories and those of us excluded from corporate Pride. Together we will reclaim the parade, bringing it back to its origins: a march for the liberation of all oppressed peoples! Housing, health care, living wages, protection from discrimination – human rights are queer rights! There are no spectators.

  • This is about Pride, not profit.
  • We are a movement, not a market.
  • We are communities, not commodities!
Is Pride becoming overly commercialized?

Some members of the movement think that Pride needs to go back to its radical roots, and staged a counter-parade entitled OccuPride over the last weekend.  The counter parade is primarily to protest what organizers see as a commercialization of what was originally meant as a chance to organize activists.  

“I think the corporatization, the commercialization of pride has really gotten out of hand,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, a longtime activist and Castro district resident. “I think they’re really consciously trying to buy favor in the community.”

However, that doesn’t mean that the group will be attacking the parade itself, far from  it in fact. 

“We have a list of targets and we’ll be doing different actions,” said organizer Craig Rouskey. “We’re not attacking the Pride parade. We’re not attacking the committee that puts it together. We’re not attacking our family on the floats.”

Read the entire story about the OccuPride movement over at the SF Examiner

Punching Down - Episode 25

Well, it finally happened: Somebody grabbed Justin’s camera while he was livestreaming! Was it a cop? No. A banker? No. An occupier? No!!!!

Who was the evil villain in the latest installment of Justin Gets Chased Grabbed? It was, not just one, but two, spectators during Occupride’s disruption of this year’s SF Pride parade!

And if that’s not bad enough, why did one of Justin’s livestream archives of Occupy Oakland’s move-in day get blocked on YouTube?

You’ll hear about what happened with that, and then we get all Inside Baseball as Eve observes some changes over at our former place of employment. Looks like they’ve gotten themselves a fancy new content management system! But, as Eve notes, the upgrade may not be without its downsides.

We also let you know what Punching Down alums Brock Keeling, Susie Cagle and Andrew Dudley have been up to lately, so stick around!