DC Pride Parade draws huge crowd and protesters (video)

The annual Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C. was interrupted by protesters Saturday. A group from No Justice No Pride blocked the parade route near 15th and P streets, saying the event was not inclusive enough.

According to its website, nonprofit The Capital Pride Alliance, located in Washington, DC, serves the LGBTA community.  In June, they produce the annual Celebration of Pride in the Nation’s Capital, “one of the largest Pride celebrations in the country, which includes the Pride Parade, Festival, and Concert.” The organizations “serves to celebrate, educate, support, and inspire our diverse communities.”

The No Justice No Pride group disagrees. They say the parade is not inclusive of minorities and is too influenced by corporations. Those corporations, according to the group, marginalize immigrants, the queer and trans communities, and people of color.

“Capital Pride has consistently demonstrated that it is more interested in accommodating the interests of Metropolitan police and of corporate sponsors than it is in supporting the very communities it supposedly represents,” No Justice No Pride wrote in a statement.

With a pink, turquoise and yellow banner stretched across the street and their arms linked, the protesters shouted “What side are my people? What side are you on?” and “No justice, no pride.”

Police allowed the protesters to stay, forming two lines around the group while the parade was rerouted. Police Chief Peter Newsham said, “We anticipated this. We knew there would be counter protests.” Newsham said they already had an alternative route planned.

The protesters upset parade attendees, some of whom felt the protest was ruining the event. One attendee felt attacked over accusations of excluding minorities and yelled, “How dare you insinuate we’re racists.”

Shouts of  “Shame! Shame!” were directed at the protesters from the crowd of parade-goers.

On Twitter, people reacted on both sides of the issue. “Capital Pride is a sham, corporate scum don’t give a damn,” one person posted, including the hashtag #NoJusticeNoPride. Another said, “Black and brown activists are shutting down @CapitalPrideDC

Supporters of the parade also took to Twitter, expressing their support of the parade.

Although there were some reports of violence and items being thrown, Newsham said officers made no arrests.

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