When it comes to police presence at pride celebrations, LGBTQ people are not remaining silent.
In the first weekend of June pride celebrations, pride attendees in several cities are speaking out against over-policing as well as official police presences in their respective pride celebrations.
Thousands of people who bought tickets for LA Pride showed up to find out that the event was sold out, according to the Los Angeles Blade. Many ticket holders were then herded away from the event by police, some of whom reportedly wore riot gear. According to the local affiliate ABC7, LA County Sheriff’s Department helicopters told attendees to go home from the oversold event.
Several LA Pride attendees tweeted about the police presence, with several expressing how uncomfortable they were. Others were also worried about the potential outcome of having both an overcrowded event and police officers.
I honestly feel like crying having just witnessed a riot police presence at a pride event. Police with pellet guns standing under the pride banner. It was terrifying. #lapride
— Kaycie Nichelle (@kaycienichelle) June 10, 2018
— christopher peter (@wondermlm) June 10, 2018
extreme ticket overselling, dangerous overcrowding, police with pellet guns, and a scary near miss with a girl attempting to jump off the parking structure (which went unnoticed by authorities). #lapride should. have. done. better.
— christopher peter (@wondermlm) June 10, 2018
#LAPride overselling their tickets is a greedy & dangerous tactic. It’s all about the money & less about community. What happened yesterday could’ve resulted into reckless actions by the police and lives lost. The board should be held accountable. #pride
— Strong QPOC Lead (@wondermann5) June 10, 2018
#LAPride literally exploited and capitalized off of queer people for a music festival then denied hundreds entry and allowed police to raid the entire thing. Y’all really forgot the whole meaning of annual PRIDE. Such a shame…
— eden the lamb (@pinkvelourr) June 10, 2018
to add to my #LAPride rants: this really was one of the most dangerous prides i went to–people getting angry/starting fights for being turned away for tickets we paid for months ago—-i saw more lgbt ppl try to keep everyone safe than the police…
— Hannah🏳️🌈 (@the_Germaphobe) June 10, 2018
Is it public news that the police tried to get buck with the crowd after turning people away from an event they paid for? If not, that happened, & it was fucked up. #LAPride
— Alex Jude Caldera (@lextm94) June 10, 2018
F*** LA Pride. They took our money, said you could pick up tix at will call. You couldn’t. Cops saying leave or get locked up. Then Pacific Design Center charging $25 for parking & giving no refunds. Sooooo I paid all that money just to drive to WEHO! #LAPride
— Nutty Professor (@OCNew) June 10, 2018
— bloop ivy (@boychoyy) June 10, 2018
Demonstrators in Edmonton, Canada, took a more direct approach to police involvement in their official pride march. According to CTV, demonstrators stopped the parade for more than half an hour to air grievances with police officers marching along with the event. They also handed leaflets to parade attendees calling out the event’s organizers and demanding they uninvite city police and military from the parade in the future. The group also asked the organization behind pride to include more people of color and trans people on its board and staff.
CTV reported that some people in the crowd grew tired of the demonstration and began to shout “We want Pride!” The Edmonton event resumed after the event organizers agreed to protesters’ demands.
According to the Courier-Post, police arrested a transgender woman who was burning a Blue Lives Matter flag during the pride events in Philadelphia, as well. A Facebook page belonging Philly Socialists has made regular updates on her status.
One Philadelphia trans woman’s tweet about the incident went viral on Sunday evening.
A trans woman was arrested at Philly Pride for burning a "Blue Lives Matter" flag, and no one is talking about it. All the bougie white Cis gays are out dancing with cops while a trans woman is sitting in jail. Happy fucking pride.
— Anna Moone (@annamoonesyou) June 10, 2018
“A trans woman was arrested at Philly Pride for burning a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag, and no one is talking about it,” she wrote. “All the bougie white Cis gays are out dancing with cops while a trans woman is sitting in jail. Happy fucking pride.”
Police presence at pride celebrations has become a hot-button issue in the past two years, especially after several cities have seen increased surveillance of LGBTQ events after the 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Photo by Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto