As NYC celebrates Irish immigrants, Irish-American and NYC racial justice groups protest NYPD’s role in deporting immigrants of color


Despite “Sanctuary City”, groups charge that aggressive Broken Windows policing feeds immigrants to ICE – while NYPD avoids targeting white immigrants.

New York – Irish American and NYC racial justice groups protested today at the NYPD Emerald Society’s post-parade party. Protesters demanded that the NYPD stop helping federal ICE agents deport New York’s immigrants by aggressively making arrests for tiny, non-criminal infractionsGroups included Irish Queers, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Community Voices Heard, and SURJ NYC (Showing Up for Racial Justice).

“Broken Windows is a flawed policy that wrongly targets Blacks and Latinos. We call on this administration to end Broken Windows and make New York a true Sanctuary City,” said Claudia Perez, member-leader of Community Voices Heard.

As NYPD officers celebrated their Irish immigrant heritage, picketers carrying signs called them to stop victimizing current-day immigrants. NYPD union boss Ed Mullins (Seargent’s Benevolent Association) confirmed this month that NYPD officers personally want to “help ICE” by targeting immigrants for deportation, and that officers resent city policy that prevents them from performing immigration checks.

“Irish-American police officers shouldn’t forget from what and where they came.  People fleeing for a better life, fighting for their right to exist, and prevailing against tyranny is scratch-deep in their history. It’s the same struggle for immigrant and racial justice that we’re facing now,” said J.F. Mulligan of Irish Queers.

Protesters charged that, despite “Sanctuary City” rules, the NYPD is already driving the deportation of New Yorkers by arresting them for non-criminal Broken Windows offenses. New federal policy directs ICE to deport documented and undocumented immigrants who have been arrested, regardless of the outcome of the arrest.

NYPD arrests for low-level offenses overwhelmingly target communities of color. This biased policing makes immigrants of color particularly unsafe, while leaving white immigrants relatively untouched.

Our Irish-American families mostly came to the US under desperate circumstances and were treated poorly here,” said Jennifer Hadlockof SURJ NYC.I’m here to confront the hypocrisy of Irish-American police officers now enforcing the horrible treatment of people of color, including immigrants, through unnecessary arrests that lead to people being deported. It’s blatant white supremacy, we cannot let it go unchallenged.”

Broken Windows mandates arrests, not summonses, for littering, subwaysleeping, jaywalking, panhandling, unlicensed dogs, and other infractions.Thousands of such arrests are made weekly, but do not improve safety, according to a 2016 DOI report.

We protested the St. Patrick's parade for decades because the Irish community is not the bigoted, hyper-religious cabal the parade portrayed. Neither is the Irish community represented by the racist NYPD, despite the historic connections,” said Mulligan. “Irish resistance against racist authority is the best of our history.”

Date: March 17, 2017

Contact: (917) 517-3627, irishqueers@gmail.com


3/17: Irish cops should GET immigrant rights. Protest NYPD criminalization of immigrants.

Friday March 17, 1-2:30pm
50th St/West Side Highway, at Pier 90
Protest outside NYPD Emerald Society's St. Patrick’s Day party. 

This St. Patrick's Day, tell the NYPD to celebrate ALL of New York's immigrants.
Stop targeting communities of color.
Stop helping ICE deport New Yorkers.

Please RSVP if possible, thanks!

The NYPD officers’ union says they’re eager to help ICE deport immigrant New Yorkers.

NYPD officers celebrating Irish heritage on March 17 should recall that their Irish grandparents fled violence and hunger, and were persecuted because they weren’t considered white in the US. But NYPD union boss Ed Mullins says these cops want to help ICE deport Latinx & Muslim immigrants for Trump.

Broken Windows policies allow the NYPD to deliver New York's immigrants into ICE's hands. Aggressive policing of low-level offenses needlessly arrests hundreds of black and brown people every week, including immigrants. Arrests make people extremely vulnerable to deportation, regardless of whether they committed a crime. Mayor DeBlasio refuses to rein in these NYPD tactics.

White people -- including white immigrants -- are mostly left out of Broken Windows arrests, at the NYPD's discretion.

It's racist, anti-immigrant, and dangerous.

For immigrants' safety, and for our communities: Stop Broken Windows policing.

Join Irish Queers, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Community Voices Heard, SURJ NYC and others (list in formation.)Protest discriminatory policing that helps ICE deport New Yorkers.
For more information, 917-517-3627


#NoShamrocks: Petition to Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Irish American Members of Congress 

Irishmen, Irishwomen, and Fellow Americans: The enduring symbol of the United States of America is not the barbed wire fence, it is the Statue of Liberty. So please, "in the name of God and of the dead generations from which Ireland receives her old tradition of nationhood," boycott Trump's St. Patrick's Day gathering at the White House on Thursday, March 16. The #NoShamrocks petition will be delivered to all Irish American Members of Congress and the Irish Embassy in Washington. No shamrocks please for the immigrant-hating Mr. Trump. No tri-color flag pins for White supremacists with Irish surnames such as Stephen Bannon. Let's show Trump how many Irish Americans and fellow Americans oppose his policies. Make your Irish ancestors smile. We are not a deportation nation that breaks up immigrant families and separates parents from their children. As John F. Kennedy said, "We are a nation of immigrants." Our diversity is our greatest strength. Share this #NoShamrocks petition with your friends, family, neighbors. Take a stand for the true character of the United States of America -- a free and generous country, a Republic with liberty and justice for all. Petition closes at noon EST on Wednesday, March 15.


Sorry not sorry! (Join us this St. Patrick's Day!)

 Ricardo Levins Morales art
This year on St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll be repping Irish America at a protest for immigrants’ rights, rather than at the NYC parade. Please join us! We’ll post details here, or you can email us for an update.

Irish Queers marched last year in the 2016 NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade. We were thrilled that, after 25 years of protest, we broke the ban on LGBTQ Irish groups.

Still, it was much the same parade as before. Simply adding queers to the staid litany of religious, military, and backroom political marching groups — without accountability for the parade bosses' past bigotry and  and without changing their power which dictated "who belongs" in Irish community — was a sad experience that we don’t want to repeat.

In the new era of Trump, the politics of a community that knows both immigrant hardship and white privilege matter more than ever.

Irish resistance in the face of brutal power is the heritage that Irish Queers celebrate!


Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York

Join us this Thursday October 6th for the opening reception of The Museum of the City of New York's new exhibition highlighting NYC's radical queer underground art community past and present.  IQ has a few free tickets, so email:IrishQueers@gmail.com if you want to join us. There will be a panel discussion with Sarah Schulman and others beginning at 6:00 PM


Press release: Happy St. Patrick's Day, making history!

Date: March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Irish Queers, making history together at the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade!

Irish Queers are delighted to be on this side of the barricades for once! We may be more at home with the circumstance than the pomp in this parade, but in this contingent we're surrounded by the NYC Irish LGBTQ community in celebration mode, which is a rare pleasure. It's also a sweet reunion of sorts, although many of us are missing: moved home to a much-changed Ireland, lost to AIDS and homophobia, or driven away by the sadness of too long a struggle. For those of us who have spent every St. Patrick's Day for the last quarter century in battle on Fifth Avenue, the bitterness is not swept away by a single day in the sun -- but today a very cold shadow lifts, and our future St. Patrick's Days are returned to us for celebration rather than protest.

Our marching is a celebration for the whole Irish community. We're joined here by supporters from the the Irish community, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising together -- a rebellion whose gift to Irish culture is a constant reference point for organizing ourselves in the face of powerful injustice, taking principled risks rather than playing it safe and wrong, setting our own terms, and refusing half-measures.

It's a celebration for the whole queer community, which is so widely familiar with bigoted figureheads collaborating with the religious right, courts, and public officials. We're especially proud to be joined here by friends from the Ugandan queer community (Freedom and Roam Uganda, the first lesbian empowerment organization in Uganda) recognizing the importance of this victory over cultural erasure; and by supporters from the many NYC LGBTQ communities who have turned out on Fifth Avenue with Irish Queers over the years.

To queer communities in Ireland, we shout a long-distance "go raibh mile maith agat" (not least for putting religious homophobia to a referendum, that was clever!) A special shout- out to our family in Queer Space Belfast, we adore you. Hope to see you all soon!

Irish Queers NYC


Contact: Emmaia (917) 517-3627, JF (212) 289-1101, or Gaby (718) 909-3956

What they wore: IQ's Gaby Cryan on "Closet Case!"

Seamstress and fashion plate Gaby Cryan takes to the airwaves on "Closet Case!"


Why we fought (This year we march! - Gay City News 3/16/17)

"This Thursday, Irish Queers will break with 25 years of protest against the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and march up Fifth Avenue in the actual parade. Believe that we are overjoyed that we don’t have to protest anymore. As per the rules of the parade, we’ll be in “business casual attire” and will be stripped of any message besides “we’re Irish, homosexual, and finally in this @#$%^ parade.”

"...Plenty of queers have asked why we fought so long to get into a parade that 1) clearly doesn’t want us; 2) is without a doubt the dullest parade in the city; and 3) is packed full of cops and army dudes, not in a sexy uniform kind of way.
"Here’s why it mattered enough to push on for 25 years..."
 Read more: http://gaycitynews.nyc/year-march/

Updated: On the march! Joining in the Irish LGBTQ contingent in 2016 NYC St. Patrick's Day parade.

This March 17th, the first Irish LGBTQ contingent will march in the 2016 NYC St.Patrick’s Day parade. Members of Irish Queers and the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization will join the Lavender and Green Alliance contingent, along with many of the tireless activists who have struggled against exclusion over the past twenty five years, worked toward the day when the parade celebrates the depth and breadth of Irish community.

The Lavender and Green Alliance will march with its banner, "Lavender and Green Alliance / Muintir Aerach na hÉireann: Celebrating Irish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Culture and Identity."

The Irish LGBTQ contingent will also carry a second banner reading "England Get Out of Ireland." This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, in which Irish insurrectionists battled to end British colonial rule. The LGBTQ contingent will march in honor of the vision, hope, and commitment of Irish people’s struggles against empire and repression. This year’s parade is a continuation of this work as we strive to create a world that make's good on the promise of the Irish Proclamation to "cherish all the children of the nation equally."
(Original post 3/3/16)

For more information about marching please email irishqueers@gmail.com.

UPDATE (3/16/17)

Originally Lavender & Green Alliance, in agreement with Irish Queers, had planned to have a second banner in the LGBT contingent. Aside from the lead banner "Lavender & Green Alliance/Muintir Aerach na hÉireann: Celebrating Irish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Culture and Identity" it was also planned to have an "England, Get Out of Ireland" banner, as allowed within the Parade's rules and in recognition that the Irish LGBTQ group is marching to celebrate the centenary of the Rising and in support of the aspirations of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, whose ideals remain unfulfilled.

After the decision was announced, there were concerns raised internally by some members and allies of LGA that the second banner (i) would not be reflective of the diversity of political views among those who plan to march in the contingent, and, (ii) that it could become a distraction in the media from the central issue of LGBT inclusion in the Parade.  In response to these concerns the LGA parade committee voted unanimously not to have a second banner, at least for this year.

Some of us strongly disagree with that decision, because it dilutes the politics of the contingent and silences a political message that is central to the Irish LGBT community.  Although we are not all in agreement with the decision to remove the second banner, we still plan to march together and to celebrate this hard-fought victory over bigotry and homophobia.