Black Lives Matter Toronto shut down Canada’s largest gay pride parade on Sunday for about 30 minutes, when they stopped marching until the parade organizers agreed to their list of “demands”.
BLM, which was invited to march in the gay-rights celebration as an honorary group, stopped two-thirds of the way down the parade route, began chanting “Shut it down!” and lit several flares.
The parade was then stopped until Toronto Pride Director Mathieu Chantelois, whose group puts on the parade, met with the protesters and signed off on the groups list of “demands”.
The list included an end to police floats at the parade a significant request considering the police’s popularity and presence in Canada’s largest pride parade. and more spots dedicated to groups representing queer people of color. The BLM demand sheet said Pride Toronto had engaged in “anti-Black racism” by reducing the visibility of gay people of color in the march.
Alexandria Williams, co-founder of BLM–Toronto, said the group had a “clear intention” to use its honorary status in the parade as a platform for a protest.
“When we accepted this year’s Honored Group status from Pride Toronto, it was with the clear intention of using this platform to address what is a historical and current culture of anti-Blackness deeply embedded in the Festival,” Ms. Williams said in a statement. “If they truly want to honor us, they can accept these demands.”
Mike McCormack, who heads the Toronto police union, said Pride organizers should be ashamed of themselves for agreeing to the ban on police representation in the march.
- Commit to BQY’s (Black Queer Youth) continued space (including stage/tents), funding, and logistical support.
- Self-determination for all community spaces, allowing community full control over hiring, content, and structure of their stages.
- Full and adequate funding for community stages, including logistical, technical, and personnel support.
- Double funding for Blockorama (to $13,000 + ASL interpretation & headliner funding).
- Reinstate and make a commitment to increase community stages/spaces (including the reinstatement of the South Asian stage).
- A commitment to increase representation amongst Pride Toronto staffing/hiring, prioritizing black trans women, indigenous people, and others from vulnerable communities.
- A commitment to more black deaf and hearing ASL interpreters for the festival.
- Removal of police floats in the pride marches/parades.
- A public townhall, organized in conjunction with groups from marginalized communities, including, but not limited to, Black Lives Matter- Toronto, Blackness Yes, and BQY to be held six months from today. Pride Toronto will present an update and action plan on the aforementioned demands.
This year Toronto Pride officials added extra Police at the parade in wake of the Orlando shootings. — while celebrating and honoring a group that has repeatedly called all cops murderers who then in turns shuts down the Pride Parade and in the end Toronto Pride is forced to sign a document excluding the Toronto Police Department from all further parades.
Black Lives Matters proves once again that their way of being inclusive and open-minded, is to exclude and close minds.
Social Justice Warriors gone wild.
The Me-me-me-lenial Generation.