Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that hosts LA Pride, has withdrawn its permit for a black solidarity march and apologized after an event organizer applied for a police protest permit, which mentioned the group’s historically “strong and unified partnership with law enforcement,” ahead of the upcoming march.
“We would like to apologize for missteps in our rush to create the June 14th solidarity march meant to rally against the systemic social injustice the Black community faces every day,” said LA Pride in an Instagram post on Friday.
The organization claimed that as they “quickly mobilized” the event, they “overlooked the direct police involvement” associated with protest permits, and further explained that they “understand that clearly goes against the demands for systemic police reform.”
According to KTLA-5, the 50th anniversary of the Pride parade was cancelled due to coronavirus, but instead of rescheduling it, the event organizers decided to plan a Black Lives Matter solidarity march to rally “against the systemic social injustice the black community faces everyday.”
“We are committed to listening to the Black community more closely and to truly be a better ally in the fight to end systemic racism and oppression,” continued LA Pride in its apology statement, which also noted that the organization itself has a “problematic” relationship with “marginalized groups within our community.”
Jeff Consoletti, an event organizer who filed the permit on behalf of Christoper Street West, has also withdrawn from the event and apologized for his actions, which he says “demonstrated the type of privileged, passive and systemic issues that permeate society today,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I am appreciative of the education I am receiving on how to be better and can see now that it is not right to take up space or attention from the conversation of racial inequality and the injustice Black people face from law enforcement,” he said.
While a lack of permits hasn’t stopped demonstrations from popping up across the country in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, it’s unclear whether LA Pride will still hold the solidarity event. In the apology, the organization said that the event, which was scheduled for next weekend, would be “reevaluated” in the coming days.
“Our board is continuing to meet today and in the days ahead to collaborate with Black leaders and organizations that share our desire for social justice for the Black community. The previously announced solidarity march scheduled for June 14 is currently being reevaluated through these discussions with more updates to be shared shortly. We pledge that the LGBTQ+ community will continue to speak up and speak out against racism and stand in solidarity with you on the long march to freedom and equality,” said the organization.
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