Demonstrators gathered at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and 6th Street and marched into the street ahead of the Pride parade this Sunday. Police involvement in this year’s event was controversial due to the not guilty verdict of Jeronimo Yanez who was charged in the shooting Philando Castile while employed with the St. Anthony Police Department.
‘No KKKops at Pride’ was organized by groups such as Black Lives Matter Toronto, No Justice No Pride, #NoDAPL, and Act Up!. In a flyer handed out to parade attendees and media, they stated that they “refuse to be silenced and demand recognition” for marginalized voices such as “trans, queer, gender non-conforming, black, indigenous, people of color, Muslim, low-income, refugee, and undocumented folk.”
The argument from the queer people of color community is that cisgendered white gay males are too dominant in the equal rights conversation and don’t properly take these voices into account.
In past years multiple police cars along with uniformed officers have led the parade. After the recent acquittal of Yanez, Pride organizers decided no uniformed officers would be present and it would only be led by one unmarked police car, as required by law. However, after Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who is the first lesbian to lead the department, expressed her disappointment in the decision, an emergency meeting was held the day before the event and the decision to allow uniformed officers to march was reversed.
The demonstrators delayed the parade to mostly cheers from people gathered on the sidewalk and then stopped at each intersection to chant and give a list of demands to the Twin Cities Pride committee. At 10th Street, the group did a sit-in for a couple minutes.
They demanded 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
- Combats State violence with the total elimination of police and law enforcement
- Is accountable for their perpetuation of white supremacy and homonormativity and that they eradicate their normalization of these violent systems
- Provide an exclusive healing space at future events for indigenous and people of color to process, rest, and restorative justice
- Divests from all corporations as they promote the marginalization, exploitation, and criminalization of marginalized communities
- 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
- Provide racial reparations via redistribution of resources and monetary compensation to grassroots organizations of the coalition’s choice.
After demonstrators made it down Hennepin, they marched down Willow Street and made their way to a stage in Loring Park and began dancing.
Update: TCO incorrectly reported that Black Lives Matter Toronto, No Justice No Pride, #NoDAPL, and Act Up! were organizers of this protest.