LA Pride has announced that they would no longer be the head organizer of the Black Lives Matter solidarity march after the key organizing group went against the wishes of the local Black Lives Matter chapter, reported LGBTQ Nation.
After the 50th annual Pride parade being cancelled in Los Angeles, California, due to the coronavirus, LA Pride announced that they would be organizing a march, which was to be held on June 14, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the organization is backing out after a queer journalist revealed a letter from Christopher Street West (CSW), the key organizing group behind LA Pride, requesting a special event permit from the Los Angeles Police Department.
I've been informed @LAPride is, in fact, working with police for their so-called "Black solidarity" march. Attached is a screenshot of an event producer's letter to the LAPD underscoring "a strong and unified partnership with law enforcement." Homos, this is not it. pic.twitter.com/7YkndfDUrV
— Fran Tirado (@fransquishco) June 5, 2020
While it is required for Pride and similar events to seek a permit from police, many community members and advocates criticized CSW for doing so without consulting the LA chapter of Black Lives Matter. CSW initially claimed it had “no intention of asking LAPD to attend,” but later announced via social media that it would no longer be involved in organizing the march.
In the public letter, CSW said it “had not been able to align directly” with LA’s Black Lives Matter chapter, despite having spoken to Black LGBTQ leaders.
“For that, we apologize to the Black Lives Matter organizers,” CSW wrote. “…[S]ubsequently, an Advisory Board of Black LGBTQ leaders has formed to lead the upcoming All Black Lives Matter solidarity march.”
According to the letter, the march will go on as planned on June 14, but permits have been withdrawn, “and there will be no police or city law officials involved in any capacity,” as well as “no corporate participation.”
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We recognize systemic racism, implicit bias and privilege permeates this country, and this includes the history of our organization. We hope to see progress and start with change from within. With that, CSW/LA Pride will no longer be involved in organizing what will now be known as the All Black Lives Matter march on Sunday June 14, 2020, but we are in full support. We will be there and hope the LGBTQ+ community will as well. The CSW Board members who conceived the idea for the march began speaking with Black LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations in advance of the announcement, however they had not been able to align directly with Black Lives Matter leaders prior to the announcement. For that, we apologize to the Black Lives Matter organizers. Conversations did continue and grew to later include leaders from Black Lives Matter LA, and subsequently an Advisory Board of Black LGBTQ+ leaders has formed to lead the upcoming All Black Lives Matter solidarity march. For the All Black Lives Matter solidarity march on Sunday, June 14, 2020: • Permits that were filed during initial planning have been withdrawn and there will be no police or city law officials involved in any capacity. • We recognize the safety concerns around COVID-19 and the pandemic currently plaguing the nation, and disproportionately the Black and LGBTQ+ communities, and ask protesters to take protective measures, including wearing face coverings and avoiding large crowds if you are at high risk or displaying symptoms of COVID-19. California Department of Public Health recommendations can be found at covid19.ca.gov. • This is not a Pride Parade or celebration event. This is a solidarity protest march and there will be no corporate participation. Following the All Black Lives Matter march the CSW Board will continue to work with the new Advisory Board to examine internal policy and further diversify its Board to include more voices and perspectives from the Black LGBTQ+ community. More information about the All Black Lives Matter solidarity march can be found on www.ABLM.LA @ablmla
CSW says it “will continue to work with the new Advisory Board to examine internal policy and further diversify its Board to include more voices and perspectives from the Black LGBTQ community.”