Thursday, February 16, 2017

Vancouver LGBT activists rally against Black Lives Matter plan to shun cops

Arguing that the “policing institution is an instrument of state violence and oppression,” Black Lives Matter has set out to make Vancouver the third Canadian city to exclude police from its annual pride parade.

In response, an ad-hoc coalition of some of the city’s most seasoned LGBT activists have begun organizing to stop them.

“Absolutely no banning of the police in Vancouver Pride,” said Metis trans activist Sandy-Leo Laframboise, a 46-year veteran of LGBT organizing.

“Banning the police from the pride parade will undermine our commitment to diversity and inclusion and all the work we’ve done,” said Sandy-Leo. “They want to remove an entity that we’ve been working with for over 40 years.”

Sandy-Leo is one of four who launched “Our Pride Includes Our Police,” a petition resisting a request by Black Lives Matter to remove uniformed police from the Vancouver Pride Parade.[...]

Earlier this month, Black Lives Matter organizers were successful in prompting police forces in both Toronto and Halifax to withdraw from their cities’ respective pride parades.

Gordon Hardy told Postmedia that Black Lives Matter can join the Vancouver parade and protest as much as they like.

“What we object to is that they come along and start telling the rest of us in the community who can and cannot be in the parade,” he said.

In a petition launched earlier this month, Black Lives Matter Vancouver called on the Vancouver Pride Society to end “any and all presence of uniformed police officers.”[...]

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