Los Angeles Pride will happen in 2020 after all – but as a Black Lives Matter solidarity march.
LA Pride bosses cancelled this year’s event from 12 to 14 June, when the coronavirus pandemic struck in March. It was due to be a historic celebration – marking 50 years of Pride in the city.
But now Christopher Street West, the organization that produces LA Pride, announced it will hold a peaceful protest march against racial injustice on Sunday 14 June.
Estevan Montemayor, the organization’s president, said:
‘In 1970, we gathered on Hollywood Boulevard to protest police brutality and oppression to our community.
‘We will do that again this year where it began, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.’
The march will start at 10am on 14 June at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland boulevards.
Protestors will then process to West Hollywood, where the parade normally takes place, ending at Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards.
Honoring the legacy of Stonewall
The US has already seen nine days of protest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
But for the Christopher Street West Board what is happening is a reminder of their own history.
The first LA Pride was a protest against police violence and oppression.
The board unanimously decided they needed to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests across the US.
Montemayor added: ‘It is our moral imperative to honor the legacy of Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising, by standing in solidarity with the black community against systemic racism and joining the fight for meaningful and long-lasting reform.’
Organizers are urging those who attend the protest to wear face masks and to bring hand sanitizer or wear gloves to help protect them from COVID-19.
Indeed, they accept it would be safer not to hold the protest. However, Montemayor said it was ‘absolutely necessary’ to ‘leave our homes and speak loudly and clearly’ about the injustices people of color face.
So far, at least 450 Prides around the world have cancelled or postponed their 2020 events due to coronavirus.