After initially cancelling L.A.’s Pride event, the organising group announced earlier this month that this year’s L.A. Pride event would re-emerge on June 14th as L.A. Pride’s Black solidarity march. Now, it has been announced that the All Black Lives Matter march will proceed without any association to L.A. Pride.
This decision comes after the L.A Pride March and its key organising group Christopher Street West (CSW) went against the wishes of the local Black Lives Matter chapter and asked police for a special event permit.
On June 4, queer journalist Fran Tirado posted a letter from CSW event producer Jeff Consoletti, a white gay man, asking the Los Angeles Police Department for a special event permit. Consoletti noted the history of the group’s relationship with police - L.A. Pride was the first pride parade to get a permit from the police 50 years ago - in his request for a permit, saying they have “demonstrated a strong and unified partnership with law enforcement.”
Although it is required for Pride and other parade events to seek a police permit for hosting such events, Black community members and racial justice advocates uncomfortable about Consoletti with “working with police”, without the input of the local Black Lives Matter chapter.
Consoletti wrote that CSW had “assured me they had the support of the Black queer community for their event, but it has become clear that is not entirely the case.”
As ‘LGBTQ Nation’ reports, in a public letter announcing its stepping down, CSW said it had conceived of the solidarity march after speaking with Black LGBTQ+ leaders, but it “had not been able to align directly” with L.A.’s Black Lives Matter chapter before announcing the solidarity event.
“For that, we apologize to the Black Lives Matter organizers,” CSW wrote. “Subsequently an Advisory Board of Black LGBTQ+ leaders has formed to lead the upcoming All Black Lives Matter solidarity march.”
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,” but it emphasised, “This is not a Pride Parade or celebration event. This is a solidarity protest march and there will be no corporate participation.”
CSW also stated that “Permits that were filed during initial planning have been withdrawn and there will be no police or city law officials involved in any capacity.”
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