Wells Fargo contingents not seen in DC's least corporate Pride in years

Video highlights of the most traditional, least corporate Pride parade in years in DC

On the 9th of June,Wells Fargo apparently did not march in the Capitol Pride parade. They were not seen from a vantage point near Dupont Circle where every contingent could be seen, and neither they nor MPD appeared on the Pride Guide's list of parade participants. David Thurston reports MPD's "LGBT Liason unit" led the parade, but they were far out front, unknown if they were an official contingent.

It is confirmed that this same police unit participated in the next day's Pride festival. Not sure if this was an official Pride parade contingent(they were not on the publishd list), or rather "prerunning" the route but acting as though they had been in the parade officially. They should not have been present at all. While the Fairfax County police department was supposed to participate in some way, their contingent if any was not spotted. There seemed to be the least obvious corporate presence in a great many years.

Contingents representing anti-Trump viewpoints, transgender activists, and GLBTQ entertainment venues were present as before but this time around did not have to "peek out" from anywhere near as big a shadow cast by police who arrest sex workers the rest of the year and the bank that funds private prisons.

Office of Diplomatic Security and FBI Police DID march, as did Lockheed-Martin. One supporter of No Justice No Pride asked Lockheed-Martin to donate night-vision devices, thermal scanners that can detect weapons, and form-fitting, stab-resistant body armor to hard-pressed sex workers forced into the streets by the Backpage shutdown.

This is still a partial victory for the 2017 No Justice No Pride blockades. Previous attempts to expel Wells Fargo from Pride all failed, even though Well's Fargo has earned an abominable reputation for how transgender prisoners are treated in the GEO Group's private prisons. Wells Fargo is a major GEO Group investor. They also invest in gentrification and urban displacement and are infamous for lending discrimination. On top of that they are a major investor in both the Keystone XL and DAPL pipelines that assault Indigenous land, sovereignty, and access to safe drinking water. After a campaign to get them out of pride that began in 2012, and got their contingents blockaded in both 2012 and 2017, Wells Fargo was finally gone. MPD, infamous for trying to railroad J20 protesters into prison for decades on charges of "rioting" also was gone. They too were targetted by No Justice No Pride last year, and in fact their 2017(and hopefully last) contingent hit the first NJNP blockade. Hopefully the laws used by MPD against sex workers will soon be gone as well, thanks to David Grosso's bill to decriminalize sex work.

Pride celebrates Stonewall, an undisputed riot where transgender folks, cisgender male sex workers known as "hustlers" and "street queens" in general defeated a police raid by meeting it with overwhelming force. The Stonewall Riots began with the failed June 28, 1969 vice squad raid on the Stonewall Inn and raged for three days, embroiling the NYPD "TPF" riot squad and the ATF before the cops finally threw in the towel and quit. That was the beginning of the end of routine police raids on Gay bars and nightclubs, though such raids have occurred as recently as the 1992 MPD raid on the Cinema Follies and other former O st SE clubs by former Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly. That raid ended with all charges dropped, all clubs hit survived another 14 years, and Sharon Pratt Kelly finished last in a three-way primary election when she came up for re-election. None of that would have happend without the transgender folks and sex workers who fought at Stonewall 23 years earlier, yet some cisgender Gay men would throw today's sex workers and transgender people under the bus.

TD Bank (known as Tar Dollar Bank for their KXL investments) did march in the 2018 parade, and so did Citibank. Citibank was targetted in the 2013 "Booty Buccaneers" blockades along with Wells Fargo. Thus, No Justice No Pride's work is nowhere near done, as shown by this report published by No Justice No Pride on progress or lack therof at Capitol Pride. Still, Capitol Pride cannot force Wells Fargo or MPD to march in Pride, so NJNP may have defeated those contingents directly by making it no longer in their vested interest to march.

Update:David Thurston reports MPD marched on the parade route, apparently far enough ahead of the rest of the parade to be missed by some observers

Was this really the lead contingent-or a fake lead contingent with a long delay after the cops?

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