BRM 2017 June 2017 - Page 66

The ad-hoc collective of Black Lives Matter organizers called out DC Capital Pride on its corporate sponsorship, its marginalization of minorities during parade planning, its acceptance of endorsement by MPD, and continuing business as usual in an atmosphere of Trump Administration anti-LGBTQ policies.

“MPD can’t continue to do what they do to anybody and not have us there,” said April Goggins, one of the Blockade organizers.

Their banner read ‘No Pride In Police Violence’ with the language repeated in rainbow colors. In stark contrast, activists wore black pants and shirts with ‘Say Their Names” in bold letters.

April Goggins stands in front of a banner during a blockade of police at Pride.

A second Blockade of the Capital Pride parade was formed a few blocks away by war resistors also disrupting the procession for over an hour. Again police encircled the activists with barricades, while rerouting the parade a few blocks around it. There were no arrests reported at the second blockade either.

Many Pride attendees chanted along with the war resistors as they firmly held their place, shacked together with bear traps. But other Pride attendees were upset by the blockades. Activists handed out pink flyers explaining their actions.

War resistors also blockaded Capital Pride. Their banner was a message against war profiteering. A third blockade called out Capital Pride and its bank sponsorships by Wells Fargo and TD Bank. The third group of activists was also connected by bear traps and sat in the street, holding their ground while others held a banner reading ‘Wells Fargo = Native Genocide’.

It’s about taking back prides roots,” said Kayley Whalen, Digital Strategy Director with the task force. “A lot of pride’s message of activism and action has been swallowed up by a corporate pinkwash,” she said.

Whalen also said that the main purpose for no justice no pride activists to disrupt pride was that the corporate sponsorship interests have actually been hurting members of the LGBTQ community.