Pride Toronto voted on Tuesday night to ban Toronto police from marching in the city's annual Pride parade, as well as participating in official Pride-related events, 680 News has reported.
The decision was made at the organization's annual general meeting, and was prompted by demands put forth by Black Lives Matter Toronto during a significant, and subsequently controversial, protest staged at last year's parade. BLM was invited to participate in the Toronto Pride parade as an honored group, in recognition of their local organizing efforts. At the event, BLM forced a 25-minute sit-in and submitted a list of demands that would address Pride Toronto's failures to adequately include and acknowledge marginalized groups. You can read the list of demands below, which includes the line item: "Removal of police floats/booths in all Pride marches/parades/community spaces."
Removing official police participation in the event is meant to address ongoing overpolicing of black and other marginalized communities in the city of Toronto, including queer people.
Recently, a black Toronto gallery co-owner was tasered by police on New Years Eve. Just two months ago, gay men and trans people were the target of a 'sting' operation and crackdown focused on charging people soliciting or engaging in sex in a Toronto park. There is a history of criminalization of queer people by police in Toronto.
The FADER has reached out to the Toronto Police Service for comment.