Following their Toronto counterparts, the Vancouver Black Lives Matter movement is demanding the Vancouver Police Department remove its police float from next weekend’s annual Pride Parade.
In an open letter posted online, the Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter says a police float is “inappropriate” and “insulting” because the policing institution is linked to violence against Indigenous communities, racial profiling, and inaction around missing and murdered women.
They want the VPD to voluntarily withdraw from marching in the Parade itself.
Instead, they want to see a “public service” float including all first responders.
Despite these demands, the group says it will not take part in the pride parade, by participation or protest because “we refuse to participate in the whitewashing, armament and exclusivity of any Pride Parade unless concrete and explicit commitments to the contrary are made.”
A few weeks ago the activist group presented a list of demands at a sit-in halting Toronto’s massive Pride parade for about thirty minutes.
They wanted Toronto police floats and booths to be barred from Pride marches, parades and community events.
Pride Toronto’s executive director signed the list of demands to get the parade moving again, but later said the organization never agreed to ban police participation.
Vancouver Police Sergeant Randy Fincham says it’s aware of the letter, saying: “We continue to work with all communities to build a more inclusive Vancouver, and protect the rights of all those who live, work and play in the city,”