Protesters for Black Lives Matters in Toronto stopped Canada’s biggest LGBTQI Pride March last weekend with a sit-in and a list of serious demands for the parade’s organisers. And guess what, their demands were met!
Marchers sat down in right in the middle of the route for the Pride Toronto parade. They halted the procession solid for 30 minutes and read out their demands.
The Pride’s director Mathieu Chantelois signed a document agreeing to the demands from Black Lives Matter Toronto and the parade was allowed to continue.
Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Pascale Diverlus said that the demands were essential so that Pride was more comfortable for diverse communities.
In an interview with Huffington Post Canada he said “It was not just black folk who saw a need for our demands,”
So what were the demands?
Black Lives Matter – Toronto, along with various community groups, including Bay and Blackness Yes have the following demands:
1. Commit to BQY’s (Black Queer Youth) continued space (including stage/tents), funding, and logistical support.
2. Self-determination for all community spaces, allowing community full control over hiring, content, and structure of their stages.
3. Full and adequate funding for community stages, including logistical, technical, and personnel support.
4. Double funding for Blockorama + ASL interpretation & headliner funding.
5. Reinstate and make a commitment to increase community stages/spaces (including the reinstatement of the South Asian stage).
6. A commitment to increase representation amongst Pride Toronto staffing/hiring, prioritizing Black trans women, Black queer people, Indigenous folk, and others from vulnerable communities.
7. A commitment to more Black deaf hearing ASL interpreters for the Festival.
8. Removal of police floats/booths in all Pride marches/parades/community spaces.
9. A public townhall, organized in conjunction with groups from marginalized communities, including, but not limited to, Black Lives Matter- Toronto, Blackness Yes, and BQY to be held six months from today.
Pride Toronto will present an update and action plan on the aforementioned demands.
See more in the video below: