BLM was in the spotlight this weekend after they briefly halted the parade on Sunday afternoon by stopping their own float and asking for a more inclusive pride for black LGBTQ members.
Tory’s letter does not explicitly mention Black Lives Matter- Toronto but it does refer to the “debate now taking place with regard to Pride and our police”.
“Frankly, Black Lives Matter isn’t going to tell us there’s no more floats in the parade”, Chantelois told CP24, saying he’s open to having a conversation with the activist group, but won’t commit to barring police from the parade.
Then the chapter chose to accept the position as the honored group and develop a plan on how best to present the needs of Toronto’s black LGBT community.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, left, sits with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, centre, and former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, right, at the annual Church on Church Street service before Toronto’s Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30, 2013. Only after a list of demands were met did the protestors clear the road and allow the parade to continue on.
The second youngest prime minister in the world has marched in the parade before, including last summer, but this was his first as prime minister.
Black Lives Matter used the sit-in to call attention to the shooting death of Andrew Loku.
“We know first hand that increasing the police presence at Pride does not increase safety for all people”, said BLM member Malkia Cyril in a press release. “Militarizing these events increases the potential for harm to our communities and we hope in the future SF Pride will consider community-centered approaches to security at pride events”.
Nevertheless, a chance to participate in his first ever Pride parade has been nothing short of exceptional.
“I can’t co-opt what is mine”, said Khan, who is part of the LGBTQ community, adding: “It was never community consensus that police floats should be a part of Pride to begin with”. The Pride Parade started as a riot, it started as a space for marginalized communities to take action… “There was a lot of negative publicity, there was a lot of pushback”.
“This has brought attention to who feels safe with police around…and the reality is Indigenous and black people, two-spirit people and our LGBT community who are racialized, we don’t feel safe with the police around”. Toronto’s police apologized for those raids just last month. One reason: Only parts of the report into Loku’s death were released. The massacre killed 49 people.
Durham Regional Police Service deputy chief Chris Fernandes said in an interview Monday that it sends a strong message both to the public and employees when officers participate in the celebrations in uniform.
“The question is, do police floats matter more than black lives?” He also expressed frustration with Pride Toronto.
“What we’re asking for from the police and what we’re asking for from Pride Toronto is an apology to the Black community for throwing us under the bus all of those years, for disenfranchising us all of those years, for inflicting violence on us for all those years”, Diverlus said.