Over 100 LGBTQ and immigrant New Yorkers gathered in Bushwick on Saturday, July 14, to focus on the issue of the NYPD's “stop and frisk” policy and how it particularly affects the LGBTQ community of color. Members of Make the Road New York, a non-profit, membership-led organization for low-income Latino families, along with the LGBTQ community and supporters, joined to march from Make the Road’s Brooklyn Community Center at 301 Grove Street to Knickerbocker Street.
Karina Claudio-Betancourt, the lead community organizer of Make the Road New York, discussed the importance of stop and frisk and its affect on the LGBTQ community. She pointed out that more than 93 percent of people stopped and frisked in Bushwick are black and Latino, and some belong to the LGBTQ community.
“We want to highlight how these experiences happen to our folks, and we need to be a part of that conversation,” Claudio-Betancourt said, holding a megaphone and belting out various chants related to stop and frisk.
Dressed in green in support of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, a musical group that plays at various political and social events, freelance media consultant Melanie Butler expressed her support for the march.
“This is an important issue, and I want to support it,” Butler said.
Rainbow banners, signs and flags continued to wave as residents advanced down the streets for a BBQ and musical performances.
Seventeen-year-old Katherine Tabares, an intern with Make the Road New York 2012 Action Summer, a five-week internship program that trains immigrant communities of color in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island to be advocates for their communities on empowerment for education, stressed the importance of a local event when people are fighting for a common cause.
“When you bring people together, it’s powerful,” she said.