Black Lives Matter returns to Pride, but parade continues
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Sunday, June 25, 2017 8:22PM EDT
Black Lives Matter- Toronto returned to the Toronto Pride Parade Sunday, making their presence known but without halting the event.
The group made its appearance toward the end of the parade. Bringing up the rear with placards, they stopped every few minutes to chant and stand in silence.
However there was no disruption to the main event as there was last year when the group completely halted the parade until a list of demands was signed by Pride Toronto.
“This action was to remind folks that there are issues at stake,” Black Lives Matter – Toronto co-founder Rodney Diverlus told CP24. “We attended last year and this year and in the year in between, we’re still talking about the same very issues – anti-Black racism, police violence, the need to address and to see Black Queer and Trans communities.
“So we made an appearance to actually remind folks that Black Queer and Trans people are here, have issues that we want to talk about and address and Black Queer and Trans people are a central and crucial part of Pride.”
Diverlus said Pride has wandered from its roots as a protest movement, with more emphasis today on “glitz and parties.”
He added that this year’s parade was more inclusive of Black and Trans people because of the group’s actions last year.
As per Black Lives Matter’s demand at last year’s parade, Toronto police did not take part in uniform this year.
Toronto police and Pride Toronto have said that they are engaged in productive conversations about how to move their relationship forward while incorporating some of the feedback from Black Lives Matter.
However Diverlus said Black Lives Matter still sees the onus as being on organizations such as Toronto police to acknowledge and address Anti-Black racism.
While the group’s presence did not break up the parade, it was somewhat unexpected as they did not to register to take part.