Black Lives Matter Vancouver marches in protest of police at Pride
Black Lives Matter Vancouver held an alternative Pride march Sunday, as cities across North America grappled with how to navigate police presence at their Pride celebrations.
BLM Vancouver's March on Pride aimed to reframe the city's Pride Parade by removing police presence in the march, and in their view making it a more inclusive event for queer, two-spirit and trans people of colour.
"Black people and queer people of colour can be without having that fear of police being involved in that parade," said Joy Gyamfi, one of the rally's organizers.
The Vancouver Pride Parade is still allowing police to participate, but has made a compromise this year by allowing fewer officers to attend. BLM Vancouver, however, wants to see more measures taken.
"What we're looking for here is no police institutional presence," Gyamfi said.
This weekend, cities across North America dealt with demands by local BLM chapters to get rid of police presence at Pride events differently.
In Toronto, police were banned from participating in the parade Sunday.
"We're strongly of that belief, at least in uniform and at least with guns," said Shannon Ryan with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention. "I think we want to see police involved, that's fine, but there needs to be some limitations and guidelines placed on that participation."
Toronto police were invited to New York's Pride Parade this weekend, sparking debate about their attendance in the Big Apple.
Meanwhile, BLM in Seattle made headlines when that chapter briefly halted the parade by blocking the road it was travelling on Sunday.
This year's Vancouver Pride Parade will happen on Aug. 6.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Julie Nolin.