Black Lives Matter Vancouver wants Vancouver Police out of Pride Parade again

RCMP officers at the 2016 Pride Parade in Vancouver. Credit: Sergio Magro, Global News.

Pioneers of Vancouver’s Pride Parade are petitioning to keep the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) in the event.

More than 900 people have signed a petition to resist pressure to exclude uniformed Vancouver Police and RCMP from this year’s Pride Parade.

This petition comes after members of the Black Lives Matter Vancouver chapter pushed last year for the VPD to voluntarily withdraw all uniformed officers from the parade. The chapter is also asking police not be allowed to march in the 2017 parade, saying “having the Vancouver Police Department on the ground to perform a civil service is understandable however having the institution participate on a float in the organized festivities of the actual parade is inappropriate and insulting to those who came before us to make Pride celebrations possible, some of who even died for the cause. Embracing the institution in an event that originates from protest against its actions makes us justifiably uncomfortable.”

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

It is the second year in a row the group has asked for the VPD to be removed from the parade, following similar demands made in Toronto. The VPD did march in the 2016 parade.

The responding petition to this year’s opposition states:

Vancouver’s LGBTQ community has a long history of positive engagement with the Vancouver Police Department, from the first Gay and Lesbian / Police Liaison Committee in 1977, through the 1980s with the work of community leaders like Jim Deva, Jim Trenholme and Malcolm Crane, and continuing today as the LGBT / Police Liaison Committee. We’ve been doing this work for 40 years now.

The visible involvement of the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP in the parade, which dates back to 1996, signifies the progress we have made in our struggle for LGBTQ equality.



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