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  • Thousands celebrate the annual LGBTQ Capital Pride parade in Washington, June 10, 2017.

    Thousands celebrate the annual LGBTQ Capital Pride parade in Washington, June 10, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

“A lot of pride’s message of activism and action has been swallowed up by a corporate pinkwash,” said one demonstrator.

Activist groups banded together Saturday in Washington, D.C., to shut down the capital’s annual 42nd D.C. Capital Pride.

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Under the banner of “No Justice No Pride,” organizers from Black Lives Matter protested police sponsorship of the parade, LGBTQ anti-war activists demonstrated against its military sponsors and Indigenous and immigrant LGBTQ groups railed against bank sponsors for their prison, pipeline and anti-immigration funding.

One group from BLM’s contingent blockaded the Pride parade near the main stage of festivities, shutting it down for two hours. Capital Pride staff were forced to reroute while more than 25 activists cabled themselves together near the area where the judges were set to evaluate Pride floats.

The banner held by the group read "No Pride in Police" and the demonstrators wore all black with shirts that had “Say Their Names” emblazoned on the front.

“MPD can’t continue to do what they do to anybody and not have us there,” said April Goggins, one of the blockade organizers, referring to DC's Metropolitican Police Department, DC Media Group reported.

A few blocks away, LGBTQ activists opposed to the military industrial complex, U.S. imperialism and war rallied against weapons producers like Lockheed Martin and other military backers of the parade.

A third blockade was formed by another group of activists that called out the parade’s bank sponsorships by Wells Fargo and TD Bank. The group had set up bear traps and sat in the street, holding a banner that read “Wells Fargo = Native Genocide.”

“Capital Pride’s list of sponsors reads like a who’s who of Native genocide: FBI, NSA, CIA, Wells Fargo, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Federal Bureau of Prisons,” explained Jen Deerinwater, a participant with No Justice No Pride and two spirit member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

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“Capital Pride’s Board members claim that the Dakota Access Pipeline and America’s neglect and abuse of Native people aren’t issues that impact the LGBTQ2S community. But I am a member of both the Queer and Native communities. Do the lives of LGBTQ2S Natives not matter?" Deerinwater added. "These institutions have wreaked havoc on Indigenous communities through pollution and theft of our sacred lands and the criminalization of our very beings."

For another demonstrator, Kayley Whalen, the action was “about taking back pride's roots.”

“A lot of pride’s message of activism and action has been swallowed up by a corporate pinkwash,” the digital strategy director with The Task Force pressed.


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