Victoria Pride parade disrupted by pro-Palestine protesters, route redirected

Victoria Pride parade disrupted by pro-Palestine protesters, route redirected
A group of 40 protesters blocked the Pride parade route in Victoria on July 7, 2024.

The Victoria Pride parade has been disrupted by pro-Palestine protesters and it has been re-routed to get around the disruption.

Protesters held up the parade at Humboldt and Gordon, so the floats were turned around back up Douglas. The parade will then carry on down Belleville.

Victoria Police says a group of about 40 protesters blocked the parade route. The parade was rerouted and the protesters have now dispersed without incident.

A group of pro-Palestine protesters says it was their group who disrupted the parade, saying there were groups that had floats in the parade that were supporting Israel, and called on the Victoria Pride Society to end association with those groups.

“We stopped the Pride parade to say that we are a group of queers who reject pinkwashing,” a protester who spoke with CHEK News said.

“Pinkwashing is when corporations and government institutions use their relatively progressive stance on queer rights to cover up the other human rights abuses that they are doing. Specifically we were here today to ask that Pride Victoria commit to Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions list and commit to removing any corporations in Pride that profit off of or fund genocide.”

“We’re queer people who think being queer means supporting the liberation for every human. We don’t think there’s Pride in genocide. We’re very happy today that the Victoria Pride Society has agreed, although, of course, we’ll see if they actually deliver.”

The group is calling on the Pride Society to publicly call for a permanent and lasting ceasefire in Gaza; boycott and divest from any groups associated with Israel; recognize the historical and ongoing harm caused to members of the LGBTQ2S+ community by police and other law enforcement; commit to keeping law enforcement out of future Pride events; and recognize the ongoing harms to the unhoused community including displacement for Pride events.

Ace Mann, the president of the Victoria Pride Society, said after other Pride parades had been disrupted the society had reached out to organizers of the weekly protests to see if there were plans to disrupt the Victoria parade.

“All of the demands that they had were already things that we are trying to do, so that’s, again, why we were trying to get in touch with people, because it would have been great to have that conversation, so that they would know,” Mann said.

“They’re not unreasonable demands and they’re already things that we’re trying to do because they make a lot of sense. We’re trying to make sure that Pride is serving our most equity deserving people and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. It’s a big ship to steer and sometimes it takes awhile, there are somethings we can’t do quickly.”

Mann says conversations with the group who disrupted the parade will continue.

“We’re hoping to be able to meet with them going forward and make sure that we’re held accountable and all queer people are knowing what Victoria Pride is doing and having better communication and better transparency,” they said.

Watch the Victoria Pride Parade live on CHEK and CHEK+

This is a developing story. More details will be added as they become available.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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