The 2015 Pride Parade was briefly held up the afternoon of June 28 when several protestors from the activist group #BlackOutPride staged a "die-in" at the corner of Halsted and Addison. Eight arrests were made in the incident, which held up the parade for about 15 minutes.
The protestors said that they were seeking to call attention to issues that had been neglected by the LGBT community in the push for marriage equality.
According to a statement released June 28 by #BlackOutPride, "Organizers of the die-in hope the protest will bring attention to the parade's origins as a political action meant to resist state violence. Organizers wish to amplify the voices of those silenced within the LGBTQ community, primarily those populations most impacted by state violencetrans people, women, people with disabilities and mental illness, Black and Brown folk, indigenous people, immigrants, sex workers and street youth."
Among the issues the group looked to address were homelessness amongst LGBT youth and hyperpolicing.
#BlackOutPride is a community of Black, trans and queer individuals looking to call attention to the radical roots of the Pride celebration according to spokesperson NIC Kay. They [Kay's chosen pronoun] said the June 28 action was to honor the history of Pride, which started out as a riot, and to honor the history of [original organizers] Sylvia Rivera and Marsha Johnson."
#BlackOutPride was looking to "de-center Pride as a commercial event and center it as a protest." They said that between 25-30 members took part, and that several bystanders joined in.
Individuals who were arrested were eventually taken to the Cook County Courthouse at Belmont and Western Avenues. An online drive was launched to raise money for their bail, and all had been released by the early evening, according to the group's Twitter postings.
Kay said they were confident that the group was able to get its message across: "It was an effective action."
Among the issues #BlackOutPride said should be addressed by the LGBT community and the city overall are stop-and-frisk actions by police; over-policing of LGBT youth; reopening shuttered schools and mental health clinics; a trauma center on the South Side of Chicago; safe shelters for LGBT youth; and wage theft. They also call for an end to militarization and corporate exploitation of the community. The group's full statement is at radfag.wordpress.com/ .
Related coverage at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Pride-Parade-includes-protests-celebrations-and-the-Stanley-Cup/51985.html .
Related coverage at www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/CPD-52-arrests-related-to-Pride/51988.html .