Filed under: Action, Education, Northeast, Queer, Repression, Trans
Report on recent walkouts in Passaic County in so-called New Jersey against anti-LGBTQ measures.
Queer youth in Passaic County took to the streets this week as a direct response to the Passaic County School Board’s recent policy change which now only allows nationalist flags to be flown on school property. The change in school policy came as a shock to local queer students, as several schools in the district flew pride flags throughout last year.
While it is currently unclear who was the driving force behind the decision, it’s clear that the action taken is a direct attack on queer students, staff, and their families. Instead of accepting the School Board’s authority and queerphobic agenda, almost 100 students across the district walked out of class to collectively challenge the new policy. Queer youth also applied more pressure at the following School Board meeting to demand an end to the policy and for School Board members to be thrown out of office.
To fully eradicate the pride flag ban and push toward the queerest insurrection in this region, the youth need to be able to build their power into something codified and self sustaining. In recent years, young anarchists across the country have formed a decentralized network of autonomous youth crews known as the Youth Liberation Front (YLF). Members of the Florida YLF have participated in the walk outs in response to the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” that was passed weeks ago. Applying these principles to the already organized queer youth movement in Passaic County and the rest of NJ, would only further accelerate their momentum and goals.
Let’s also not forget about Bash Back! from 2007-2010 whose inspiring actions included confronting Neo-Nazis, attacking homophobic churches to even squatting social centers for queer youth. An anthology of writings and materials from Bash Back! can be found here.
As groups like the YLF are showing us, when radical energy is no longer funneled back into electoral politics, the non profit industrial complex, or other neoliberal institutions the state and authority can be brought to its knees.