None of us is free until all of us are free.
At least for L.A. Pride, a rediscovery of its more political roots has happened, as it now eyes to hold a peaceful assembly to support the Black community.
An uprising has been happening in the US now, in protest of America’s long history of systemic racial injustice. This was again highlighted by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who – after being suspected of passing a fake $20 bill – died in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes. Three other officers were involved; and none of them revived Floyd even when he was already motionless and had no pulse. Floyd was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
L.A. Pride – which was started right after the Stonewall uprising in New York City in 1969 – is, nowadays, more known for its festivals/parties than for being very political.
Earlier, Christopher Street West (CSW), the organizer of the annual LA Pride Parade and Festival, canceled all in-person events due to Covid-19. But on June 1, its board of directors voted to “peacefully assemble a protest in solidarity with the Black community.”
“Fifty years ago Christopher Street West took to the streets of Hollywood Blvd in order to peacefully protest against police brutality and oppression,” said Estevan Montemayor, president of CSW’s board of directors. “It is our moral imperative to honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising, by standing in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racism and joining the fight for meaningful and long-lasting reform.”
Because Covid-19 remains a big issue in the US, the California Department of Public Health recommends that participants engaging in the seeming re-awakening of the political roots of L.A. Pride to wear face coverings at all times.
The event is slated on June 14.