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LA Pride Scraps Plans For 'Solidarity March' With Black Lives Matter After Backlash For Seeking 'Unified Partnership' With Police

LA Pride Scraps Plans For 'Solidarity March' With Black Lives Matter After Backlash For Seeking 'Unified Partnership' With Police

Los Angeles Pride organizers were planning on collaborating with Black Lives Matter to hold a "solidarity protest march" at the end of June, but the plans were abandoned after it was revealed Pride was seeking partnership with the LA Police Department.

LA Pride is planned and operated by the Christopher Street West organization, that reached out to All Black Lives Matter to create a crossover event. Though Pride events were previously cancelled due to concerns related to the global pandemic, the new collaborative march was greeted enthusiastically by the city's LGBTQ community.

Unfortunately, on June 4 news broke online that the Pride organizers were seeking a "strong and unified partnership" with the LAPD, which directly conflicts with the mission of the Black Lives Matter protests.

The issue of police at Pride, even without the collaboration with BLM has been getting more and more pushback and scrutiny in the last few years.

Activists online urged Pride to collaborate more actively with Black activists to ensure the movement belonged to them.

The next day, LA Pride organizer Jeff Consoletti withdrew from his role in the protest via Instagram, saying his plans to "stand with the Black Lives Matter movement was not carefully thought through."

He wrote:

"I apologize and now see that these actions demonstrated the type of privileged, passive, and systemic issues that permeate society today."

Consoletti also admitted his team had not worked "with enough key leaders and activists in the Black community that have been fighting on the frontlines" during their planning of the collaborative event.

Christopher Street also issued a statement via Instagram, apologizing for any past missteps and promising better behavior moving forward.

While Pride has made corporate sponsorship an important part of its model in recent years, many have hoped that the pandemic might offer a silver lining: a return to the movement's grassroots origins.

New York's Reclaim Pride Coalition, for instance, is hoping to pick up the torch where Christopher Street West dropped it, and is planning a 2020 Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality.

Twitter also hoped the collaboration would improve.

Time will tell whether the LA Pride/Black Lives Matter march comes to fruition as protests continue across the country.