Activists with a Canadian offshot of the Black Lives Matter movement successfully hijacked a Gay Pride parade in Toronto this weekend and forced organizers to agree to a list of demands including removing “terrorist” police floats from future parades and prioritizing the hiring of transgender black females in the future.
To the dismay of both marchers and bystanders and despite being invited to the festivities as “honoured guests,” the Black Lives Matter protesters ground the procession to a halt for nearly 30 minutes, stopping floats and staging a sit-in during which they shouted “Shut it down!”
Alexandra Williams, co-founder of the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter, told the CBC’s Natasha Fatah that the group wanted to hold Pride Toronto accountable for what she called its “anti-blackness” and for pushing people of color to the margins for “way too long.”
The protestors refused to let the parade resume until Pride officials agreed to a list of demands that, among other things, included banning police floats from future marches and prioritizing “black trans women, indigenous people and others from vulnerable communities” in Pride Toronto’s hiring efforts.
To end the blockade and get the crowds moving, the Pride executive director surrendered immediately and signed a document agreeing to the demands. He also committed to hold a town hall to consult with his community.