Black Lives Matter withdraws from S.F.'s Pride Parade due to increased police presence

Black Lives Matter Bay Area and other organizations said Friday that they will not participate in this weekend’s San Francisco Pride Parade due to increased policing in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

Black Lives Matter, which was to be an organizational grand marshal for the parade themed “For Racial and Economic Justice,” cited concerns over the San Francisco Police Department’s “recent track record of racist scandal and killings of people of color” and how first responders can be a source of harm to “queer communities of color.”

“The Black Lives Matter network is grateful to the people of San Francisco for choosing us, we choose you too,” said Malkia Cyril, a member of Black Lives Matter, in a press release. “As queer people of color, we are disproportionately targeted by both vigilante and police violence.

“We know firsthand that increasing the police presence at Pride does not increase safety for all people,” Cyril added. “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.”

Those joining with Black Lives Matter in withdrawing from the parade due to the increased police presence include Janetta Johnson, executive director of the TGI Justice Project that serves imprisoned trans, intersex and gender non-conforming people, and the St. James Infirmary, a clinic for current and former sex workers.

Other Pride events happening this weekend have also announced beefed up security following the Orlando massacre, including Orange County and New York City’s gay pride parades.

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