Jul 06, 2016
By Jane Brown
Since stalling the Pride parade for 30 minutes on Sunday, members of the group Black Lives Matter say they’ve been inundated with hate mail. And they say the vitriol demonstrates the racism the group is trying to combat with it’s actions.
Members of Black Lives Matter used their status as an “honoured guest” of Pride to stage a sit-in at the head of the parade on Church street. They offered up a list of demands, including that police be barred from participating in the parade in the future.
Pride’s Executive Director Mathieu Chantelois signed an agreement with BLM Toronto, and later said he did so, to get the parade moving.
But Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, it just wasn’t appropriate to have Black Lives Matter as honoured guests of the parade.
“We don’t even know who these Black Lives Matter are, but…they’re never anywhere near so far this year, the 20-plus young black people who’ve been gunned down in this town, and slain and killed, including Rochelle Bobb and Kyrie, the little boy that I wrote about, that didn’t get to live because of violence, so you never see them around at funerals or any of the vigils, and things like that. They call people like me racist, and yet I go to these things,” Warmington explained.
It took him a couple of days, but Mayor John Tory has come out in support of Toronto Police saying they should always have a place in the Pride parade, regardless of any demands by the group Black Lives Matter.
A statement from Tory’s office released yesterday afternoon says Toronto Police have and continue to make significant efforts under the leadership of Chief Saunders to build bridges with the LGBTQ community.
It goes on to say, as a city, we rely on our police service to keep Pride happy and safe as they did once again (this year), and the Mayor believes they must continue to do so going forward.