LGBTQ Asian Groups Protest Policing in 8 Cities Nationwide
From Seattle to Boston, Groups Demand End To Profiling, Violence By Local, Federal Law Enforcement
From May 7-15, during Asian Pacific Heritage Month and on the cusp of June Pride events, organizers with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and its member organizations are hosting a #RedefineSecurity Week of Action to highlight the harm caused by legalized profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity by local and federal law enforcement. The events are engaging participants across the country in reimagining safety in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities and push back against police presence at LGBTQ Pride events in June.
“Our communities will redefine security for themselves, without law enforcement agencies that routinely profile and harass South Asians and Muslims as terrorists, Southeast Asians as gang members, and LGBTQ API people as targets for harassment,” said NQAPIA Organizing Director Sasha W. “Transgender people, especially transgender women, are routinely subjected to violence. As LGBTQ APIs, we are in solidarity with all Black and brown people who experience profiling from police, from ICE, and from all state agencies.”
The week of action challenges LGBTQ API communities to rethink policing around Pride events. While policing means violence to some API people, it means safety to others – especially those who are lighter-skinned or upper middle class. “If I, as a mixed East Asian person who rarely experiences racial profiling, invest in a form of ‘safety’ that relies on policing and surveillance, it hurts Black and Brown folks,” said Sam H. of Invisible to Invincible.
Many law enforcement agencies are exempt from federal guidelines that protect people from profiling. In 2014, President Barack Obama’s executive order created the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which detains and deports people profiled as a danger to national security. The FBI’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program profiles Muslim youth. Together, these and other programs normalize and legitimize violence against LGBTQ API communities, and all communities of color.
“These agencies must be held accountable for their biased immigration and criminal justice systems that have been inflicting violence and trauma on API communities,” said Boston QAPA Steering Committee member Kevin Lam. “Especially queer and transgender API communities.”
WHO: NQAPIA and member LGBTQ API organizations across the country
WHAT: #RedefineSecurity Week of Action to Demand an End to Profiling, Violence by Law Enforcement
WHERE: Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Bay Area, NYC, DC, and New Orleans
WHEN: May 7-15 (event listings below; all times local to time zones)
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQ AAPI groups, develop leadership, invigorate grassroots organizing, and challenge homophobia and racism.