ACTION ALERT: A Decade of Resistance; Trans Day of Action 2014 Political Points of Unity
The 10th Annual NYC Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice
Points of Unity
Initiated by TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color Center for Community Organizing.
Friday, June 27, 2014
On Friday, June 27, 2014, TGNC (Trans and Gender Non-Conforming) People of Color (POC) and allies will take the streets of New York City once again and demand justice to let the world know that the Stonewall Rebellion is not over and we will continue fighting for justice and raising our voices until we are heard. We call on activists and organizers from all movements, both locally and nationally, to endorse this call to action and to build contingents to march in solidarity together on Friday, June 27, 2014. To endorse the Trans Day of Action 2014, send an email to endorsetdoaalp [dot] org. For more information about the march send an email to Elliott at efukuialp [dot] org or contact TransJustice at 212-463-0342 x 13.
This year we are excited to celebrate a decade of resistance, resilience and revolution as we call for social and economic justice, and raise awareness of the many pressing issues TGNC POC face. On this day, the 45th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, we will lift up and celebrate the legacy of the amazing TGNC POC warriors that have paved the way for our movements today. We will also honor and continue the struggle for justice, liberation, and recognition for all oppressed people across the globe.
We as TGNC People of Color (POC), recognize the importance of working together alongside other movements to create the world we want to see. We live in a time when oppressed peoples including people of color, people who are currently and formerly incarcerated, immigrants, youth and elders, people with disabilities, women, TGNC people, and poor people are underserved, face higher levels of discrimination, heightened surveillance and experience increased violence at the hands of the state. Let’s come together to let the world know that TGNC rights will not be undermined and we will not be silenced!
These are the points of unity, which hold together the purpose of this important march:
• We demand an end to profiling, harassment and brutality at the hands of the police. Like many other oppressed communities TGNC people are targeted, profiled and brutalized by the police. The NY Anti-Violence Project reports that Trans women are 4 times more likely to experience police violence than all other people reporting violence. We are in solidarity with FIERCE and their campaign to counter the displacement and criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color. We support legislation that would stop police and prosecutors from using possession of condoms as evidence of ‘criminal activity.’ We oppose increased policing, recognizing that policing doesn’t end hate violence against LGBTSTGNC People. As members of Communities United for Police Reform, we demand an end to the discriminatory “Stop and Frisk” and other “Broken Windows” practices of the NYPD and demand that they make amends.
• We demand justice for the many TGNC POC who have been beaten, assaulted, raped, and murdered yet these incidents continue to be silenced or misclassified. We also demand an end to non-physical acts of violence such as verbal harassment and gender policing. Instead of disrespecting the identities of TGNC POC, we call for media to address individuals by their preferred names and pronouns. The police and the media continue to criminalize us even when we try to defend ourselves. We know through AVP’s Hate Crime Report that 67% of hate crime murder victims are Trans women of color, and we demand that this end. Hate crime laws will not solve the problem but will give increased power to the state to put more people in jail. In striving for social justice, we recognize complacency as an act of violence and seek to find ways of holding people accountable, and hope to come to a joint understanding of how we can make our communities safer.
• We demand access to both public and private spaces without fear of harassment or brutality. Far too many TGNC POC have faced harassment, violence, and denial of usage of restrooms across New York City. We call for access and the agency to choose which restrooms match our gender identity and gender expression, and for the development of gender neutral restrooms, as well as accountability for staff and patrons of both private and public spaces when we face discrimination and abuse. We are in opposition to gentrification and the displacement of our communities.
• We demand the full legalization of all immigrants. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous-identified Two-Spirit people and the sovereignty of the First Nations, on whose land we now see the US attempt to enforce arbitrary borders. TGNC POC deserve the right to access competent and respectful immigration services. We demand that the consulates of all countries respect and honor our identities and issue passports and other documentation that accurately reflects who we are. We oppose the Secure Communities program, the guest worker program, the Real ID Act, enforcement provisions to build more walls and give greater powers to the Department of Homeland Security, increased barriers for asylum seekers, and other anti-immigrant policies. We stand in solidarity with the 3 million plus people who have been deported and we demand an end to such displacement.
• We are in solidarity with all prisoners, especially the many TGNC POC people behind the walls. We call attention to the under-reported accounts of violence and rape that our community faces at the hands of correction officers and other prisoners, in psychiatric facilities, and group homes. We demand an end to the torture and discrimination TGNC POC prisoners face. We demand that all TGNC POC prisoners receive competent and respectful healthcare. We oppose the continued growth of the prison industrial complex that continues to target our communities, yet we recognize that TGNC POC people need access to services and facilities that lessen our vulnerability to violence within the present jails and prisons. We call attention to the criminal injustice system that increasingly puts POC, immigrants, people with disabilities, TGNC POC and poor people behind bars - criminalizing our communities and our lives.
• We oppose the US “War on Terrorism” as an excuse to legitimize the expansion of the U.S. as an imperial super power and to separate our communities by fostering feelings of hate, xenophobia, and violence. We demand the immediate removal of all U.S. troops from all countries under occupation and demand an end of use of U.S. dollars to cultivate and sponsor wars against people in the U.S. and abroad.
• We demand accessible, respectful and comprehensive health care. In recognizing that Trans healthcare is not “special” healthcare, we are in solidarity with the Medicaid Campaign, led by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. TGNC POC deserve the right to access quality and emergency health care and to be treated with dignity and respect while receiving necessary care. We demand that health care providers and insurance providers acknowledge this right and provide this service without bias and discrimination.
• We demand safety while utilizing public transportation. We celebrate that due to a court ruling, TGNC POC are now protected while utilizing public transportation in NYC and can take action against the MTA (NYC’s public transportation system) if it’s employees use discriminatory language. TGNC POC should be addressed by their preferred pronoun and should not be targeted by employees or harassed by other customers. We call on the MTA to insure the safety not only of TGNC POC but of women, children and all riders. However, as evident with the recent attack on the MARTA in Atlanta, GA, of Janell Crosby and Tyra Woods, we recognize that this is also a national issue that must be resolved across the country.
• We demand that all people receiving public assistance be treated with respect and dignity. We are in solidarity with all people living on public assistance. We celebrate our 2011 campaign work that resulted in establishing proper procedure for serving TGNC clients and a community developed training curriculum but we demand that the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the NYC welfare agency fully implement this procedure, including culturally competent trainings for all employees that does not put the burden of education on the TGNC POC community.
• We demand access to respectful and safe housing. A disproportionate number of TGNC POC have been or are currently homeless, and experience violence and discrimination when trying to access shelters and housing programs. We lift up the legacy of Queers for Economic Justice, which as a result of the lack of support for the TGNC POC community unfortunately had to close its doors. We continue the demand that all Department of Homeless Services shelters provide adequate Trans sensitivity trainings for all personnel and enforce clear non-discrimination policies that respect the dignity and safety of all homeless people. We demand safe spaces for all TGNC people.
• We demand that TGNC POC people have equal access to employment and education opportunities. We are outraged by the high numbers of TGNC POC who are unemployed. Few TGNC POC have access to opportunities for learning in a safe school environment. TGNC POC demand that all employers and educational institutions implement non-discrimination policies that respect the rights of all workers and students and that they comply with the NYC Human Rights Law that prohibits discrimination against gender identity and expression.
We commemorate the memory of Islan Nettles, Kandy Hall, Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis, Zoraida Reyes, and the many brave souls we have lost, who have struggled and lived their lives fearlessly, being true to who they were. They keep the fire of struggle burning within all of us.