Today 30 or so people gathered, in response to a call put out by What Queer?!, Providence’s radical queer organizing collective, and marched, funeral-procession style, between locations of state violence. We delivered speeches and memorials, paying tribute to those effected by state violence. We reminded Bank of America, TEXTRON, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Providence Police Department, and the Army National Guard Recruiting Center of their roles as perpetrators of this violence. Today we mourned Alexandros Grigoropoulos. Today we mourned Oscar Grant III. Today we mourned the 800 dead in Gaza. Today we mourned all of our fellow Rhode Islanders who are incarcerated and awaiting deportation for the crime of working the state’s least appealing jobs.
Today we mourned the American teenagers who are coerced into joining the military, whether it be out of economic necessity or sparkly false advertising. Today we mourned every person who has ever been raped, murdered, and beaten by the police. Today we mourned the environmental devastation perpetuated by Bank of America. However, we won’t just mourn – we will continue to struggle towards a better world, fighting the fight all these people were taken away from all too soon. Our collective grief was witnessed by many passersby, who were given funeral-style fliers explaining our presence. A coffin was carried, and a brass band played. “Shrines” were left at the buildings of each purveyor of state violence, piles of flowers and framed statements calling out their atrocious acts. This procession was called for by What Queer?!, and was coordinated with the help of Providence Students for a Democratic Society, Brown SDS, Northeast Anarchist Network, individuals from the Industrial Workers of the World, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, Olneyville Neighborhood Association, the What Cheer! Brigade, International Socialist Organization, and other autonomous individuals. We hope this will be the first of more frequent coordinated actions between many groups in Providence. As queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming people, we recognize that the violence that is ever-present in our lives is also perpetuated around the world. There are no single issues. Collective liberation = collaborative triumph over our common oppressors.