Police, military banned from future Edmonton pride parades after protest

A group of queer and trans people of colour momentarily halted the pride parade on Whyte Avenue Saturday to bring attention to issues they have with the Edmonton Pride Festival Society.

The activists stopped parade floats on Whyte Avenue at 104 Street and asked the Pride Society to:

  • Not invite police or military to future parades
  • Hire more trans people and coloured people
  • Include more well-funded spaces designed trans and coloured people in the festival
  • Acknowledge pride history as a demonstration against police oppression

“Everyone felt strongly that the police should not be welcomed to march in pride because police have done little to seriously address the constant mistreatment of trans people, Indigenous people, black people, people of colour and the homeless community,” Agnieszka Kucharska, the protest’s organizer, said.

The Pride Society’s members present at the parade shared these demands with the rest of the Board of Directors and a motion was put forward to accept them.

“EPS, RCMP, and Military will not march in the parade until the community feels that they have taken the necessary steps for all community members to feel safe with their presence,” Edmonton Pride Festival’s said.

“They weren‘t able to remove the police presence from this year but going forward they will definitely remove them until further community conversations happen,” Kucharska said.

The Pride Society is holding a community stakeholders meeting on June 25.

“It feels very good that we finally feel heard after several attempts of talking with them,” Kucharska said.

With files from Nahreman Issa