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Black Lives Matter withdraws as Pride Grand Marshals due to increased police presence

This image shows the 2015 LGBT Pride Celebration in San Francisco. (KGO-TV)

Black Lives Matter Bay Area organizers today said they were withdrawing as Grand Marshals for this weekend's San Francisco Pride Parade in response to an increased police presence and security measures announced in the wake of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Black Lives Matter was chosen as an organizational grand marshal for the parade in honor of its theme, "For Racial and Economic Justice."

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"The Black Lives Matter network is grateful to the people of San Francisco for choosing us, we choose you too," said Malkia Cyril, a member of Black Lives Matter. "As queer people of color, we are disproportionately targeted by both vigilante and police violence. We know first hand that increasing the police presence at Pride does not increase safety for all people."

The withdrawal, announced at a press conference Friday, was joined by St. James Infirmary, a group that provides medical and social services to sex workers, and TGI Justice Project, an advocacy group for transsexual, intersex and gender nonconformist people in jails and prisons.

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The groups said in a statement that law enforcement creates unsafe conditions in queer communities of color. In particular, they cited what they described as the San Francisco Police Department's "recent track record of racist scandal and killings of people of color."

"While I am thankful for this honor, and grateful to Pride for bringing our work to the front this year, the decision to add more police to Pride does not make me, or my community, more safe," Grand Marshal Janetta Johnson, executive director of the TGI Justice Project, said in a statement.

SF Pride organizers announced an increased police presence and new security screening at Pride events following a June 12 shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 49 people. Among other measures, those attending the Civic Center Pride Celebration will for the first time be required to go through metal detectors and submit to bag screening.

PHOTOS: San Francisco Pride celebration 2016
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The following streets will be closed:

Celebration Site Street Closures: FRIDAY, JUNE 24, through MONDAY, JUNE 27

Fulton between Hyde and Larkin Friday 9 AM through Monday 3 PM
Grove between Polk and Larkin Friday 9 AM through Monday 6 AM
UN Plaza Friday 9 AM through Monday 6AM
Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett between McAllister and Grove Friday 7 PM through Monday 6 AM
Grove between Hyde and Larkin Friday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM

Grove between Polk and Van Ness Friday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Larkin between McAllister and Market Friday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Lech Walesa between Polk and Van Ness Friday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Polk between Grove and Market Friday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
McAllister between Van Ness and Hyde Saturday 12:01 AM through Monday 6 AM
Hyde between McAllister and Grove Saturday 5AM through Monday 6 AM
McAllister between Hyde and Leavenworth Saturday 5AM through Monday 6 AM
Continuum Place (all) Saturday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Elm between Polk and Van Ness Saturday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Golden Gate between Leavenworth and Van Ness Saturday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Hyde between Turk and McAllister Saturday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Larkin between Turk and McAllister Saturday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Polk between Turk and McAllister Saturday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM
Redwood between Polk and Van Ness Saturday 8 PM through Monday 6 AM

Parade Street Closures: SUNDAY, JUNE 25th, 10:00AM through 3:00PM

Market Street from Beale to Steuart Sunday 10:00AM through Sunday 3:00PM
Steuart Street from Market to Howard Sunday 10:00AM through Sunday 3:00PM
Spear Street from Market to Howard Sunday 10:00AM through Sunday 3:00PM
Main Street from Market to Howard Sunday 10:00AM through Sunday 3:00PM
Beale Street from Market to Howard Sunday 10:00AM through Sunday 3:00PM
Market Street between Market and Folsom Sunday 10:00AM Sunday 3:00PM
Parade down Market Street to 8th Street Sunday 10:00AM Sunday 3:00PM
Related Topics:
societypride paradelgbtgaygay rightsSF PrideSan Francisco
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