Police banned from Vancouver Pride Parade and here's the reaction from across Canada
Members of Canada's policing community who identify as LGBTQ2+ have said that they are "disheartened" by Vancouver Pride's decision to ban all police from this year's events.
In the June 10 announcement, the organization explained their decision is intended to show support for Black communities, while also taking stand against police brutality.
We stand with Black communities who have taken to the streets to demand accountability from the police. We are removing police from the Pride Parade and are amplifying the demand to #DefundThePolice - you can read our full statement here https://t.co/1aFvOE5KpP pic.twitter.com/XtX1RuGRUg— Vancouver Pride (@vancouverpride) June 10, 2020
RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Elenore Sturko took to Twitter to voice her disappointment after the news was announced.
I am an 🏳️🌈 LGBT police officer. When we wear our uniforms and participate in Pride events. We do so not only to stand with our community, but to stand up to discrimination within our own institutions. I am disheartened. #VancouverPride https://t.co/2PCTpCURWk— Elenore (@elenoresturko) June 11, 2020
Other members of the policing community also aired their views online.
The recent decision by the Vancouver Pride Society to ban the VPD and other police agencies from their events is truly disheartening. As a proud member of the LGBTQ community as well as a proud member of the VPD I have enjoyed being a part of Pride events in the past.— Sgt. Cindy Vance (@SergeantVance) June 11, 2020
In their statement, The Vancouver Pride Society detailed how the roots of Pride stem from "righteous anger, riot and uprising against police brutality."
Due to the pandemic, the society is planning an online celebration, culminating in a Virtual Pride Parade Livestream on Aug. 2.
Elsewhere, Calgary Pride Parade encourages their queer family members in uniform to instead participate as civilians, potentially within their favourite community groups, churches or as alumni of their alma mater.
A statement from the organization said "With specific regard to police in uniform, it is important to recognize that a professional uniform can be removed at the end of a workday, but it is impossible to shed one’s race, gender and sexual orientation."
The association added that they are exploring meaningful ways to "communicate the origin story of the Pride movement, as well as ways to honour the current context of this conversation."
Across the country, Pride Hamilton has also made it clear where they stand on policing.
A statement on their website explains: "Pride Hamilton is committed to ensuring that our spaces don’t prop up the violence that many associate with police, their uniforms, and their weapons. Uniformed and armed police are not welcome as any part of our Pride celebrations, displays of solidarity, or public messages."
The organization has banned "bullet proof vests, military style uniforms, guns, tear gas, pepper spray, and other tools and symbols of violence [that] are used by police to repress, intimidate, and cause harm."
The association adds: "They are not images of celebration. They are weapons of state-sanctioned violence against Indigenous and Black communities."
"Pride Hamilton will continue to stand in solidarity with Two Spirit, Indigenous, Black, and LGBTQIA+ communities."
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