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Why BLM Protesters Actually Delayed Twin Cities Pride

The Pride parade in Minnesota took place in Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon, though it was supposed to start in the late morning. The parade was delayed for over an hour by Black Lives Matter protesters, and the reasons for the protest vary, depending on the source. Some sources say the protest was for Philando Castille, and some sources say the protest was against the police presence in the parade. While those aspects were part of it, they definitely don’t tell the whole story. Overall, the media coverage has been disappointing to say the least. Most outlets didn’t even acknowledge that the protesters had an entire list of demands. They read as follows:

“We demand that Twin Cities Pride honors the legacy and life of trans women of color and recognize Pride as the byproduct of their resistance of police brutality and repression. We demand Twin Cities Pride combats State violence with the total elimination of police and law enforcement. We demand Twin Cities Pride is accountable for their perpetuation of white supremacy and homonormativity and that they eradicate their normalization of these violent systems. We demand Twin Cities Pride provide an exclusive healing space at future events for indigenous and people of color to process, rest, and restorative justice. We demand Twin Cities Pride divests from all corporations as they promote the marginalization, exploitation, and criminalization of marginalized communities. We demand Twin Cities Pride funds and organizes a Town Hall alongside members from marginalized communities including but not limited to Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Native Lives Matter, and Justice4MarcusGolden. We demand Twin Cities Pride provide radical reparations via redistribution of resources and monetary compensation to grassroots organizations of the coalition’s choice.”

Protester Kai Andersen went on to say,

“We marched for Philando Castille, Jamar Clark, sex workers, queer folx, queer folx of color, trans people, trans people of color, native lives, the safety of those who do not feel safe in their own communities, those who have experienced police violence that have either lived to tell the tale or have gone unpublished in news and police reports, and for the support of grassroots organizations.”

When celebrating Pride month, and the annual Pride parades, it is vital to recognize that the first Pride was a riot. The first Pride was a riot in the late 1960s against the police force and the ways they mistreated queer people, and it was led by a trans woman of color, Marsha P. Johnson. The first Pride was Stonewall. The importance of inclusion and intersectionality in Pride cannot be stressed enough. Drag was started by Black and Latinx gays in Harlem. Pride was started by transgender people of color. This movement is for more than cisgender, white guys. So, maybe it’s time we act like it.

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Jasmine Hart
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Jasmine Hart is a staff writer for Affinity Magazine and is based in Minnesota.

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