Check the temperature in Hell: San Francisco mayor won’t march in Pride Parade unless uniformed cops can, too

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In a refreshing show of solidarity between a major Democrat-run city and its law enforcement professionals, Mayor London Breed has announced that she will not march in next month’s Pride Parade unless her city’s law enforcement officers are allowed to wear their uniforms while participating.

In 2020, organizers of one of San Francisco’s marquee public events banned police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters from marching in their uniforms following a confrontation at the event the year before, when at least 12 people sat down in the street with arms linked, blocking the route to protest the involvement of police and corporations, Google in particular.

 

The list of demands circulating on Twitter before the 2019 parade, which were ignored, called for an outright ban on law enforcement’s participation. It said:

“No police within the Pride Parade and no police presence at any Pride celebration, march or demonstration. The system of policing upholds white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, gender binaries, and capitalist rule.”

The protest lasted for about an hour before the streets were cleared. The SFPD said in a statement  at the time that two people were arrested during the parade after “protestors broke down barricades and threw water bottles at officers.”

This year’s parade, which is scheduled for June 26, marks its return after a two-year absence due to COVID-19 concerns.

Suzanne Ford, interim executive director of San Francisco Pride, said law enforcement officers are free to wear t-shirts with their department’s logo but not professional uniforms. In a statement to Fox San Francisco, Ford said:

“We didn’t ask anyone to hide, or not to denote who they were. We just did not want full uniforms, out of harm reduction to marginalized members of our community.”

Local law enforcement groups, which have participated for years, find the uniform ban offensive and have opted not to march.

Mayor Breed said in a statement to Fox San Francisco:

“I love the Pride Parade, and what it means for our LGBTQ community and for our city. It’s one of my favorite events of the year. However, if the Pride Board does not reverse its decision, I will join our city public safety departments that are not participating in the Pride Parade.”

She added:

“Let’s be very clear about who we are talking about: brave women and men who not only have the courage to put on their uniforms and go out and risk their lives every day to serve our city, but who also have the courage to do so as openly out women and men in uniform.”

 

The San Francisco Police Officers’ Pride Alliance said its members would not participate in the parade. The group said the ban made officers feel as though they were being forced to go back into the closet by not being allowed to proudly wear their uniforms. The group said in a statement:

“Let us be clear: this committee would not order the leather community to wear polyester at the parade. This committee would not order the drag community to wear flannel. But they have told us, peace officers, that if we wear our uniforms, we may not attend.

“For LGBTQ+ officers, this brings us back to a time when we had to hide at work that we were LGBTQ+. Now they ask us to hide the fact of where we work.”

Department members are disappointed that parade organizers would rather ban police than build bridges between them and the communities in which they work. Officer Kathryn Winters, a member of the SFPD Officers Pride Alliance, noted the irony of being excluded by a supposedly inclusive group. Winters told ABC7:

“I would really like San Francisco Pride to embrace the values of San Francisco, the values of radical inclusion. We want to be able to show the members of our community that there are people just like you who put on these uniforms every day and are out there to support, help, and protect you.”

The San Francisco Fire Department said that it backs the mayor and police department’s stand on the issue and will not participate in the parade. SF Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Baxter said:

“We need to allow the public to see that our uniformed law enforcement officers are good, they do reflect our community.”

New York City has banned police officers from participating in its parade altogether.

https://fundourpolice.com/

Discrimination: NYC Pride bans all law enforcement from its parade festivities to create ‘safer spaces’

May 16, 2021

NEW YORK CITY – Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said they are banning police and other law enforcement from marching in the group’s annual parade until at least 2025 to create “safer spaces for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities.”

On-duty officers will also be kept a block away from the June parade so that they are not seen at the event, which is supposed to celebrate diversity.

On Saturday, NYC Pride released a statement in which the organization announced its new policies to address the presence of law enforcement and NYPD at Pride events in New York:

“NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate.

“The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason.

“NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community.”

NYC Pride said the steps it was taking is intended to “challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change.”

The ban is not only for this year, but until at least 2025 when at that time a review will be done by the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, as well as the Executive Board.

What safety measures will be taken for an event that millions attend each year? According to the statement:

“NYC Pride will transition to providing increased community-based security and first responders, while simultaneously taking steps to reduce NYPD presence at events.”

NYC Pride also made it clear that “NYPD is not required to lead first response and security at NYC Pride events” and that “all aspects of first response and security that can be reallocated to trained private security, community leaders, and volunteers will be reviewed.”

In addition, “an increased budget for security and first response will allow NYC Pride to independently build a first response emergency plan using private security and provide safety volunteers with de-escalation training for first response when necessary.”

The organization also noted:

“NYPD will provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials.

“In these instances, NYC Pride will review foreseeable NYPD involvement and, in partnership with surrounding venue precincts, take steps to keep police officers at least one city block away from event perimeter areas where possible.”

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