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Thousands March in Los Angeles for All Black Lives Matter Protest

An estimated 30,000 Angelenos marched for Sunday, June 14th’s All Black Lives Matter protest. This event was a show of support for the racial justice movement in general and for the LGBTQ+ Black community in particular. The anti-racism solidarity march stretched from Hollywood to West Hollywood. West Hollywood was originally was set to host the LA Pride Parade, as it has every year since 1970, before it was canceled due to the coronavirus.

The march was organized by All Black Lives Matter, and as of 12:30 p.m., the crowd had swelled on Hollywood Boulevard. The famous intersection was painted with gigantic and bold all-capital letters that spelled out: “ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

Organizers of the 2020 LA Pride Parade said earlier this month they would hold a march in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and against police brutality and oppression. But Christopher Street West, which organizes LA Pride, is said to have failed to reach out to BLM officials or Black LGBTQ community organizers before making that announcement. CSW admitted as much in a social media post Monday, saying the group would withdraw from formal sponsorship of the anti-racism event, but stand in solidarity. According to a website for the march, ablm.la, the LA Pride organizers stepped back “out of recognition and respect to the years of work and action of Black LGBTQ+ leadership and community organizers,” but would “stand unapologetically in solidarity with efforts to dismantle racial (in)justice, systemic oppression, institutional barriers, policy brutality and discrimination of all kinds.”

According to All Black Lives Matter, the march aimed to “amplify Black Queer voices” and support Black Lives Matter demands to “prosecute killer cops” and “defund the police and reinvest in the community.”

ABLM officials said they would not engage “official police involvement” in organizing the march and would reach out to Black-owned businesses rather than the corporate sponsors sometimes sought by Christopher Street West. There has been push-back against police participation in pride marches, given that they originated in commemoration of a 1969 anti-police riot outside the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. Last year, Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva marched in the LA Pride event.

As public health officials continue to worry about large gatherings creating a spike in coronavirus cases, All Black Lives Matter included a tagline on the event flyer reading, “COVID-19 guidelines encouraged and enforced.” On their website, organizers cited the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on Black and LGBTQ+ communities and urged protesters to “take protective measures, including wearing face coverings and avoiding large crowds if you are at high risk or displaying symptoms of COVID-19.”

Marchers traveled west on Hollywood Boulevard to North La Brea Avenue, then south to Sunset Boulevard, west to North Crescent Heights Boulevard and finally, southwest on Santa Monica Boulevard to end at San Vicente Boulevard.

Keep up the good work, Los Angeles!

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