Los Angeles Pride is withdrawing from hosting an LGBTQ+Black Lives Matter march following criticism it was working with police for the event.
“We recognize systemic racism, implicit bias and privilege permeates this country, and this includes the history of our organization,” the group said in a statement. “We hope to see progress and start with change from within.”
Christopher Street West, which organizes the annual parade in L.A., originally announced back in March that the festivities would be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. However following the death of George Floyd on May 25, the group announced that this year’s Pride would be a protest.
Christopher Street West said in a statement that the event, scheduled for June 14, would honor the first LGBTQ+ Pride parades in 1970, during which marchers “took to the streets of Hollywood Boulevard to peacefully protest against police brutality and oppression.”
“We feel that it is our moral imperative to honor the legacies of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising, by standing in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racism and joining the fight for meaningful and long-lasting reform,” the organization stated in the Wednesday (June 10) release.
After the announcement, the event came under fire for its partnership with the LAPD. Event producer Jeff Consoletti had reportedly applied for a police permit for the event in a letter addressed to Police Commander Cory Palka and Captains Steve Lurie and Scot Williams.
Consoletti touted a “strong unified partnership with law enforcement in the annual organization of PRIDE here in Los Angeles and West Hollywood.”
“Your support of this peaceful gathering is the key to its success and continues a L.A. tradition of support, advocacy, and the peaceful right to protest for all,” he added.
The news outraged author and trans activist Ashlee Marie Presten, who told NBC News that Christopher Street West “has been asked many times... to not have the sheriff or police present” and that involving the LAPD is “tone deaf.”
Others weren’t happy. See what they had to say below.