Pride 2019 - Call to Action
As Pride events and The 519’s Green Space Festival approach, we want to assure queer, trans and two-spirit communities that your safety and well-being are important and a priority.
The 519 is continuing to develop strategies and mobilization efforts that center the safety of all members of LGBTQ2S communities and respond effectively to any acts of targeted violence, hate, and discrimination.
If you experience or witness the presence of hate groups during Pride events, we ask you to consider the following options:
1. Assess and Prioritize your Personal Safety
First and foremost, always contemplate and ensure your own personal safety. Do not put yourself in harm’s way, as some groups are known to be physically violent.
2. Let Us Know
If safe to do so, we encourage you to notify The 519 by calling our Front Desk at 416-392-6784 and sharing the presence and location of any hate groups in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood. Our team will walk you through a series of questions to establish the nature of what is happening and propose next steps.
3. Grab a Mobilization Kit
If it feels safe to engage and participate in the peaceful disruption of anti-LGBTQ2S rhetoric, we will have mobilization kits ready and available for pick-up and use at the following locations after 5pm on Thursday, June 20, 2019:
- The 519 Front Desk (519 Church St.)
- Glad Day Bookshop (499 Church St.)
- Pride Toronto – Volunteer HQ (475 Yonge St.)
- Blockorama Stage – Sunday June 23, 2019 ONLY
(15 Wellesley St. directly opposite Wellesley Station)
Mobilization Kits include:
- A large banner with affirming, community-centric messages of love
- Information on how to get involved, and how to report
- Affirmations; noise-makers; chant lists; safety and response tips and tricks
- Branded bandanas, so you can identify yourselves
Placards with affirming messages to LGBTQ2S communities will also continue to be available at The 519.
4. Refrain from Engaging in Physical Violence
We encourage community members to refrain from engaging in any physical violence or dialogue with members of hate groups. Many of these groups are known to embed video cameras in either periscope banner poles, wear body cameras and/or have a designated cameraperson with the intention to film your actions, and have you charged with assault, and/or to create video content for their media channels and propaganda as the ‘victims’.
5. Peaceful and Powerful Disruption
Peacefully disrupt anti-LGBTQ2S rhetoric through amplified messages of affirmation for queer, trans and two-spirit communities. Use the noise-makers to drown out the hate, use the signs and banners to block out hateful messaging. Watch out for each other.
6. Stay Connected
If you would like to be kept informed about any safety and/or community-based mobilization efforts, you can follow #ArmyOfLovers on social media, reach us at avi@The519.org, or call our Anti-Violence team at 416-355-6792 to get connected.