Vancouver Pride Society makes decision on police participation in 2018 parade

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      The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) has made a decision about police participation in the 2018 Vancouver Pride parade.

      Xtra reported today that VPS executive director Andrea Arnot announced at its annual general meeting on November 25 that police are still welcome to participate in the parade but only as individuals marching in the City of Vancouver's parade entry, and police uniforms, weapons, or vehicles will not be permitted.

      Black Lives Matter Vancouver (BLMV) has been requesting the removal of armed, uniformed police from participating in the Pride parade since July 2016.

      Only 20 percent of the Vancouver Police Department's contingent in the Vancouver Pride parade 2017 were allowed to wear uniforms.
      Craig Takeuchi

      In addition to community consultations, the VPS also analyzed the City of Vancouver's entry and found that the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) was overrepresented in previous years.

      Consequently, the VPS decided to allow 20 percent of the VPD contingent to participate in uniforms in the 2017 parade.

      The VPS also required the police to march mixed with personnel from other civic departments, such as Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and B.C. Emergency Health Services, rather than as a separate parade entry.

      Black Lives Matter Vancouver held a rally and march on June 25, separate from the 2017 Vancouver Pride parade.
      Craig Takeuchi

      BLMV expressed dissatisfaction and criticism about the VPS decision for 2017 and held a separate rally and march in June this year.

      However, Xtra is reporting that BLMV is pleased with the VPS decision for the 2018 parade, which they regard as helping to make Pride more accessible, inclusive, and safe for community members.

      The 2018 Vancouver Pride parade will be held on August 5.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.