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.”
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We recognize systemic racism, implicit bias and privilege permeates this country, and this includes the history of our organization. We hope to see progress and start with change from within. With that, CSW/LA Pride will no longer be involved in organizing what will now be known as the All Black Lives Matter march on Sunday June 14, 2020, but we are in full support. We will be there and hope the LGBTQ+ community will as well. The CSW Board members who conceived the idea for the march began speaking with Black LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations in advance of the announcement, however they had not been able to align directly with Black Lives Matter leaders prior to the announcement. For that, we apologize to the Black Lives Matter organizers. Conversations did continue and grew to later include leaders from Black Lives Matter LA, and subsequently an Advisory Board of Black LGBTQ+ leaders has formed to lead the upcoming All Black Lives Matter solidarity march. For the All Black Lives Matter solidarity march on Sunday, June 14, 2020: • Permits that were filed during initial planning have been withdrawn and there will be no police or city law officials involved in any capacity. • We recognize the safety concerns around COVID-19 and the pandemic currently plaguing the nation, and disproportionately the Black and LGBTQ+ communities, and ask protesters to take protective measures, including wearing face coverings and avoiding large crowds if you are at high risk or displaying symptoms of COVID-19. California Department of Public Health recommendations can be found at covid19.ca.gov. • This is not a Pride Parade or celebration event. This is a solidarity protest march and there will be no corporate participation. Following the All Black Lives Matter march the CSW Board will continue to work with the new Advisory Board to examine internal policy and further diversify its Board to include more voices and perspectives from the Black LGBTQ+ community. More information about the All Black Lives Matter solidarity march can be found on www.ABLM.LA @ablmla
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.”
Don’t support the LA Pride “solidarity” march. The organizers didn’t work with Black Lives Matter L.A., or any Black leaders in the LGBTQ+ community. They also invited the police, which is an insult to the memories of Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Brenda Howard#LAPride https://t.co/x1aW6rSj8b— The Cali Nerd (@TheCaliNerd) June 5, 2020
Others weren’t happy. See what they had to say below.
🚨PSA FOR ANYONE IN LA🚨— jay (@dearapriI) June 5, 2020
the “la pride blm march” is IN NO WAY affiliated w/ Black Lives Matter or Black Leadership LA. Instead, they started this idea without either of those groups knowledge. ALSO, in a (now deleted) post, it showed the police have already been invited by them
not LA pride “marching in solidarity” with blm and hiring lapd to “work security” AND they never contacted any blm organizers in the first place i hate this sm https://t.co/4QpTAAkMQ0— rosey (@rosevalls) June 8, 2020
does anyone know if the la pride x blm solidarity thing got fixed bc they got exposed for wanting the lapd there lmao.— kyra (@kyrawins) June 8, 2020
i wanna go but like cops ??? no
If you've heard about a Pride for BLM march in LA next week, I urge you to not participate. It being organized by LA Pride and the LAPD *without* even any meaningful input from BLM— art & esoterica 🎨🔮🏳️🌈 (@femmina) June 5, 2020
Photo: AGUSTIN PAULLIER/AFP via Getty Images
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