Black Queer Lives Matter + BLM disrupt Montreal Pride
August 22, 2017
By Jesse Chase, AFROPUNK contributor
The 2017 Montreal pride parade that took place on August 20 was interrupted during a minute of silence by members of the Black Lives Matter movement. Organizers of Black Queer Lives Matter decided to disrupt the minute of silence during the parade because of Pride’s whitewashing and complicity in the erasure of its Black and racialized origins. A bit of drama went down when two white-cis Pride volunteers tried to rip the megaphone out of the hands of BLM member, Lucas Charlie Rose. Later that night there was a Black Queer Lives Matter event at La Vitrola which showcased some of Montreal’s Black queer hip hop and R’n’B artists like Lucas Charlie Rose , Afropanther , Strange Froots , Mikki Bradshaw , Michael Perry, Rai Simone and IAMREBELWILL . The interruption of the Pride parade went down like this, in the following words of Black Lives Matter Montreal:
We have today interrupted the pride parade in Montreal in memory of three women of colour, 2 trans women and a lesbian, who, by putting their bodies in danger in the face of white supremacy, oppression against gender identity expression and sexual orientation.
We interrupted the parade to denounce it, because it has been perverted, because it lost its essence, now promoting sponsors who participate in the destruction of indigenous peoples’ lands.
We interrupted the parade with a duty of memory. We are determined to reconquer the space of Pride that is our space and that has been stolen from us by white supremacy, colonialism, and capitalism.
POC communities are at the root of all modern LGBTQ rights yet we will die under your bullets, yet we suffer from your insults, yet we remain marginalized and this is your most complicit silence. Pride belongs to us and we will constantly show our resilience to the violence and hatred that we are undergoing.
Pride Montréal will have to answer for its decisions, its actions or its lack of actions before the LGBTQ Montreal racialized communities. Recognize that we have created Pride and give it back to us!
Marsha P Johnson
Let the names of these trans and queer women resonate in your heads and be visible in all editions of Pride! They are trans and from POC communities and are at the origin of the Pride movement!
To all of you here, in the city of Montreal, in the province of Quebec, in Canada that wants itself liberal and progressive, now you can no longer refuse to see our sufferings and hear our demands and know, like Martin Luther King said, “In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
We are deeply traumatized by the behavior of two Montreal Pride volunteers, two white cis women who tried to snatch the megaphone from our member Lucas Charlie Rose while he was chanting the names of Marsha, Stormé and Sylvia. A cis white woman who stops a black trans man from paying tribute to trans and queer women of colour who started the Pride movement. The face of racism is right there.
We are even more traumatized by the fact that another Montreal Pride volunteer tried to break the security chain formed by our allies in order to reach our members and then physically tried to prevent us from peacefully leaving the premises.
Pride Montréal / Montréal Pride will have to answer for the unacceptable behavior of these two volunteers.
We want to show through this action that we are present, alive, resilient and that we are more than ever ready to reconquer Pride, which is undoubtedly our space.