IN SOME CITIES, PO­LICE MAY MARCH — BUT NOT IN UNI­FORM.

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Pride pa­rade was halted last week­end by pro­test­ers who wanted the pa­rade’s gov­ern­ing body to ban po­lice, mil­i­tary and RCMP mem­bers from march­ing.

Af­ter half an hour, the Ed­mon­ton Pride Fes­ti­val So­ci­ety agreed to the de­mands, which also in­cluded a re­quest for more diverse rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the group’s board.

The move is an echo of the 2015 protest by Black Lives Mat­ter Toronto who, re­splen­dent in gold and black, stopped the city’s mas­sive pa­rade to is­sue a num­ber of de­mands. Of the re­quests, the one about po­lice got the most at­ten­tion and shook Pride Toronto’s or­ga­niz­ing body.

For peo­ple used to a cor­poza­tion A protest halted the Pride pa­rade in Ed­mon­ton on Satur­day. Protests like this are be­com­ing com­mon­place at Pride pa­rades in Cana­dian cities, spark­ing con­ver­sa­tion na­tion­wide.

rate-friendly Pride, Black Lives Mat­ter Toronto’s in­sis­tence that po­lice pres­ence made queer events less safe for many com­mu­nity mem­bers was a novel idea. For Black, In­dige­nous, trans and racial­ized peo­ple, hav­ing po­lice in Pride didn’t mark progress but rather cre­ated fear.

The con­ver­sa­tion they sparked has clearly spread across the coun­try.

In Hal­i­fax, po­lice said they would not march in uni­form.

In St. John’s, po­lice were ini­tially banned from wear­ing their uni­forms but the or­ganied­mon­ton’s

re­versed course af­ter con­sult­ing with some com­mu­nity groups. (Al­though a re­quest for a po­lice apol­ogy re­lated to a bath­room sting trig­gered a mass res­ig­na­tion, sug­gest­ing it’s not all roses within St. John’s Pride.)

In Ot­tawa, Cap­i­tal Pride’s re­quest for po­lice to leave their uni­forms and cars at home was ini­tially re­buffed, but po­lice have since ac­qui­esced.

In Cal­gary, Van­cou­ver and

Win­nipeg, po­lice may march — but not in uni­form.

All of which sig­nals — at the very least — a will­ing­ness, even if it re­mains con­tentious, to lis­ten to the com­mu­nity.

PO­LICE HAVE TO EARN THE RIGHT TO MARCH AT PRIDE PA­RADE

THES­TAR.COM/OPIN­IONS

AMEYA CHARNALIA/FORSTARMETRO ED­MON­TON

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