BRM 2017 June 2017 - Page 65

LGBTQ ACTIVISTS BLOCKADE DC CAPITAL PRIDE PARADE

By ALEJANDRO ALVAREZ — JUNE 10, 2017

Article by John Zangas of DC Media Group

Video by Ford Fischer and Alejandro Alvarez

Drawing spirit from the LGBTQ resistance roots of the Stonewall protests of the late 1960s, an ad-hoc group of activists under the banner of No Justice No Pride, staged a series of spectacular blockades of the 42nd D.C. Capital Pride parade Saturday afternoon.

There were three separate blockades representing major concerns of the three groups that say they have been marginalized by Capital Pride organizers and sponsors. Black Live Matter LGBTQ persons protested the police sponsorship of Pride and LGBTQ war resistors protested the military sponsors of Pride, while indigenous and immigrant LGBTQ persons protested bank sponsors for their oppressive prison, pipeline and anti-immigration funding.

One group of activists, representing Black Lives Matter, blockaded the Pride parade near the main stage of festivities, shutting it down for two hours. Capital Pride staff were forced to scramble and reroute the parade while over 25 activists cabled themselves together across P Street near where the judges were staged to evaluate Pride floats. The activists refused to yield to demands to move aside.

Activists protest D.C. Metropolitan Police by blockading them as they tried to march past the main stage in the Pride parade.

The activists began their blockage just after the first few floats had passed. But as the D.C. Metropolitan Police Fraternal Order of Police union passed, activists jumped between police participating in the parade and their banner, cabling themselves together, and refusing to yield. Frustrated D.C. capital Pride ushers pleaded with them to move so police and floats could pass. Backup police moved in with barricades and cordoned off the activists while videotaping them. There were no arrests.

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