L.A. Pride announces Black Lives Matter solidarity protest march for June 14
Fifty years ago this month, Los Angeles held its first Pride parade.
This year, plans for the annual festivities were put on hold because of the coronavirus. But Wednesday morning, Christopher Street West — the organization that produces L.A. Pride — announced another change of plans.
There will be a Black Lives Matter march in L.A. on June 14. But Christopher Street West, the organization that produces L.A. Pride, will not be involved.
“In 1970, we gathered on Hollywood Boulevard to protest police brutality and oppression to our community,” said Estevan Montemayor, the organization’s president. “We will do that again this year, where it began, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.”
A peaceful protest march in response to racial injustice is planned for Sunday, June 14. It will begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland boulevards and proceed to West Hollywood, where the parade normally takes place, ending at Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards.
“We encourage all community members who believe that we must root out this racial injustice and stand in solidarity with the black community and fight for real reform and change in this country on all levels of government to join us in this peaceful protest, in this march for justice,” Montemayor said.
Christopher Street West and the ACLU had to challenge the Los Angeles Police Commission in court to get the permit for the city’s first Pride parade, which itself was a commemoration of the uprising at Stonewall a year earlier, where Marsha P. Johnson and other members of the LGBTQ community fought back against police violence and oppression. Montemayor said Johnson’s struggle, strength and courage were part of what inspired the Christopher Street West board to the unanimous decision to hold this protest.
“As a trans person, as a black woman, as a member of this community, she had to deal with oppression on many fronts,” Montemayor said. “I think it is our imperative to continue to fight the injustice and the oppression that we are currently witnessing.”
Fifty years ago, the first Pride was born from an uprising against police violence. Celebrating it will look different this year.
“We have been told that it is safer at home — and that is absolutely true; it is safer at home during this health pandemic — and that unless it is absolutely necessary you should not leave your home,” Montemayor said. “But as we reflect on what is occurring, I think it is very fair to say that it is absolutely necessary that we leave our homes and speak loudly and clearly about this injustice and peacefully protest.”
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