All Black Lives Matter Protests Draw Massive Crowds Across the United States

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Protestors across the country, from New York City to Chicago to Los Angeles, took part in massive All Black Lives Matter protests yesterday (June 14, 2020).

An estimated 35,000 people marched in Hollywood and West Hollywood on Sunday, while in Chicago, thousands of protesters marched along Halsted Street in Boystown, the predominantly LGBTQ section of Lake View, during Chicago’s “Drag March for Change” on Sunday.

Chicago

“All black lives matter, and that includes queer black lives, and trans black lives,” “Drag March for Change” organizer Joe Lewis told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We just had to get out there and make sure that was part of the conversation.”

“This is a protest, not a parade,” Lewis said. “We’re not here to entertain you. We’re here to make you listen and learn. And to make you open your purse.”

With many events cancelled during Pride Month in Chicago, the march and rally gave members of the LGBTQ community a chance to make their voices heard. 

Organizers called for violence committed against trans people to be a federal hate crime, an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council to oversee Chicago police, the immediate release of all protesters who have been recently arrested, and an acknowledgment that black lives matter from all levels of government.

New York City

Thousands upon thousands stood side by side at Grand Army Plaza on Sunday in solidarity for Black Lives Matter.

Some brought signs, others painted a portrait of George Floyd. Many brought young children – calling this a life lesson.

Sunday morning, they unveiled the newly painted portion of Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy, where ‘Black Lives Matter’ stretched out across two blocks.

Los Angeles

Yesterday (June 14, 2020) was supposed to a celebration of the 50th LA Pride Anniversary, a remembrance of the world’s first gay and lesbian rights parade, an event organizers in 1970 created to be a celebration of coming out, of being “different” and a defiant declaration of equality.

But the coronavirus pandemic changed that. It changed everything.

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In March, LA Pride canceled plans for its massive 50th Anniversary celebration due to Covid-19 health-related concerns. But after dozens of protest marches took place throughout Los Angeles in reaction to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, an LGBTQIA march was sorely needed yet any celebration organized by LA Pride seemed jarring.

And so a grassroots effort ensued which became All Black Lives Matter and a march came together as if by magic — after much consternation.

One big highlight from the march was the 600-foot street mural painted by Black LGBTQ+ activists declaring “All Black Lives Matter” in front of the Chinese Theatre.

While the march was organized in remembrance of all Black Americans killed by police, including recent victims like Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the Black Advisory Board dedicated the protest in particular to Tony McDade, a Black trans man who was killed by police in Tallahassee on May 27. Police misgendered McDade in reports that claimed he was armed with a gun and a bloody knife, which has been disputed by witnesses who say that McDade was not armed and that police yelled slurs at him.

“We are here to amplify Black Queer voices and come together in solidarity,” the Black Advisory Board wrote. “All Black Lives Matter supports Black Lives Matter in its current global demands: 1) Prosecute killer cops. 2) Defund the police and reinvest in the community.”



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