In direct response to calls from community members and staff, our Board of Directors is releasing this statement to offer our support to the Black Lives Matter movement, the recent rallies and protests that Black and Indigenous people in our city have been hosting, and to begin the long process of acknowledging and challenging our own complicity in systemic racism, anti-Black racism, settler colonialism and white supremacy.

To read the statement from our Board of Directors, click here.

To read about our historical and current relationship with policing systems, click here.

To read about our initial commitments to challenge anti-Black racism, white supremacy and settler colonialism within our organization, click here.

To read about how you can get involved or challenge these systems within your own LGBTQ+ community, click here.


Our Relationship with Police

Historically, UR Pride maintained relationships with police in various ways, ranging from police representatives on our Board of Directors and partnering on projects like the Report Homophobic Violence Period campaign in 2012, to regularly consulting and supporting the community policing components of Regina Police Service. More recently, UR Pride has been in regular attendance at Pride flag raisings with both Police and RCMP. While these actions had the intention of building relationships with police to try and educate them in reducing harm to marginalized people, the past few years have proven to us that this isn’t working. 

Queer organizations’ relationships with policing institutions in our province didn’t help stop the dismantling of the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp or the arrest of peaceful Indigenous activists in June 20181 (which, ironically, was during Pride month and National Indigenous History month), nor have they helped end the continued police violence and police surveillance of sex working communities in our city2. These relationships haven’t avoided the homophobic comments made by a police officer on social media in Saskatoon3, nor have these relationships led to a high trust in law enforcement from sexual violence survivors4

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other examples of how relationships between UR Pride Centre and policing institutions have not led to safer communities for the people we serve, most notably, 2SQTBIPOC communities, sex workers and trans women.

As we are challenged by the community to make changes in how we advocate for and protect the most marginalized members of 2STLGBQ+ communities, we recognize that our decision to work with police has not made our community safer. We must do better.


Footnotes:

  1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/teepee-justice-camp-regina-torn-down-1.4711518
  2.  UR Pride Centre has heard directly from sex workers about these experiences.
  3.  https://globalnews.ca/news/7032581/saskatoon-police-constable-social-media-gender-sexually- diverse-community/
  4. http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/6879927/SASS-Executive-Summary-2020.pdf