Black Lives Matter at front of Vancouver Dyke March

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Dyke March attracts big crowds on Commercial Drive' Vancouver Dyke March attracts big crowds on Commercial Drive
Sat, Jul 30: The Vancouver Dyke March attracted big crowds to Commercial Drive today and Black Lives Matter activists were at the front as Grand Marshalls. The movement called on Vancouver Police to withdraw from tomorrow's Pride Parade. Nadia Stewart explains – Jul 30, 2016

Large crowds gathered for Vancouver’s annual Dyke March on Commerical Drive on Saturday.

But this year members of the Black Lives Matter movement joined them to make a statement against Pride Parade taking place on Sunday.

Members of Vancouver’s black queer community refused to be part of Pride Parade due to police involvement.

“Everything that’s been happening, starting off with the actions of BLM Toronto and the pride parade there and it kind of spiraled into a higher level of inclusion for Black communities for queer-focused events,” Black Lives Matter Vancouver Co-Founder, Cicely-Belle Blain said.

READ MORE: Black Lives Matter want Vancouver Police to withdraw from Pride Parade

In Toronto, Black Lives Matter protesters brought the city’s annual Pride Parade to a halt a month ago.

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They presented a list of demands which included the removal of Toronto police from future pride events.

BLM Vancouver made similar demands of Vancouver police -calling on the force to withdraw from the event.

They say police haven’t always been allies of the LGBTQ community or people of colour.

READ MORE: VPD confirms it will march in Pride Parade after concerns from Black Lives Matter movement

“Although a lot of people feel like the police are great now and there’s a lot less violence and police brutality in this city, that doesn’t mean we can excuse the histories of the relationship between police and marginalized communities,” Blain said.

Dyke March Organizer, Christine Osgood, said she understand their concerns.

Vancouver police said they won’t bring their armoured vehicle to Sunday’s parade, but they will still be present.

A move that prompted BLM Vancouver to withdraw in protest.

– With files from Nadia Stewart 

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