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Attendees Decry Police Presence At Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Edmonton Pride Events

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.

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,” 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


Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew is a staff writer at INTO. His work has appeared in Mic, Slate and Complex. He loves "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Flannery O'Connor and female rappers and is working on a memoir.

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