Christopher Street West, which has cancelled the annual LA Pride parade because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will stage a march on Sunday, June 14, from Hollywood into West Hollywood to protest police brutality and racism.
The march is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue and will continue east to La Brea Avenue and then south before continuing on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. It will end at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard.
“While we had cancelled all in-person events due to COVID-19, we have decided to peacefully assemble a protest in Hollywood, where the first ever permitted Pride Parade took place, in solidarity with the Black community,” CSW said in a statement of the event. “Fifty years ago, Christopher Street West (CSW) took to the streets of Hollywood Boulevard to peacefully protest against police brutality and oppression. We feel that it is our moral imperative to honor the legacies of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising, by standing in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racism and joining the fight for meaningful and long-lasting reform.”
Sylvia Rivera was a Latina American gay liberation and transgender rights activist in New York City who was active in the Gay Activists Alliance in the 1970s. Marsha Johnson, an African American transvestite, co-founded the Johnson co-founded the gay and transvestite advocacy organization S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), alongside Rivera.
“Fifty years ago, Christopher Street West took to the streets of Hollywood Boulevard in order to peacefully protest against police brutality and oppression,” said Estevan Montemayor, president of CSW’s board of directors. “It is our moral imperative to honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising, by standing in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racism and joining the fight for meaningful and long-lasting reform.”
Montemayor said CSW has filed for permits for the march with the City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Sheriff’s deputies yesterday blocked protestors from marching into West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard from La Brea. The protestors headed north up La Brea to Hollywood Boulevard where Los Angeles Police Department officers allowed them to march east to Vine Street. Another protest is scheduled for noon today at the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards.
Since Monday, the City of West Hollywood has declared a 4 p.m. curfew in response to break-ins and lootings of businesses in other cities and in the Fairfax District and on Melrose Avenue. Those incidents apparently have been carried out by people taking advantage of law enforcement’s need to focus on the George Floyd rallies and demonstrations. That curfew has drawn criticism from a number of local residents who say it is a violation of the First Amendment’s declaration that people have a right to assemble and protest. Others have criticized it for forcing businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies to close before the end of the work day, making it impossible for them to get groceries and pick up medicine. WEHOville has reached out to Mayor Lindsey Horvath and Sheriff’s Capt. Edward Ramirez about the timing of the curfew but to date has still not received a response.
The protests in Los Angeles and across the country were sparked by the death in Minneapolis on May 25 of George Floyd. Floyd, an African American man, died after an altercation with a police officer who kneeled on his neck while Floyd, who was handcuffed, screamed that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd had been arrested for allegedly trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill to make a purchase at a deli. A video of the incident went viral and resulted in protests across the nation.