Rallies: Protests seeking racial justice mix with 50th anniversary of S.F. Pride.
More than a month after the police killing of George Floyd set off protests worldwide, social justice protests demonstrations this weekend merged with a landmark event — the 50th anniversary of San Francisco Pride.
The People’s March & Rally: Unite to Fight was held where the first Pride March took place 50 years ago. People of color organized the Sunday demonstration, which grew to more than 500 people, to call for gay rights and an end to racism and police brutality.
By 10:30 a.m., the intersection at Washington and Polk streets was filled with people carrying signs and wearing costumes that ranged from simple crowns to complete pink jesters. The signs included: “The nightmare must end: The Trump/pence regime must go,” and “Respect existence, or expect resistance.” A flatbed truck repurposed as a parade float of sorts was adorned in neon pink and green flowers, as well as signs.
The demonstration felt as much like party as a protest, with the crowd dancing straight down Polk to City Hall. Once there, a series of activists addressed the crowd in between musical acts.
Also in San Francisco, protesters gathered at Dolores Park to “honor LGBTQ freedom fighters ... to call for the liberation of Black, brown and indigenous people, and to demonstrate that trans and queer people are in this fight,” according to the organizers.
In the Fillmore, people gathered for the Marsha P. Johnson Solidarity Rally, honoring the Black trans community. The event included the unveiling of the Africanamerican Arts & Culture Complex’s Black Trans Lives Matter mural.
In Oakland, protesters gathered at Henry J. Kaiser Park for the Sit, Walk & Listen Pride Celebration and Black Lives Matter protest. Some meditated with Buddhists for Black lives.
On Sunday afternoon, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan announced she would ask her colleagues at a Tuesday meeting to reconsider their earlier passage of a budget, so that more funds can be pulled from the Police Department and spread to community programs.
Kaplan joined protesters in a caravan from the Port of Oakland to council members’ and the mayor’s houses.
“City Council slashed jobs in the middle of a pandemic to save the police budget,” a sign on one car said. “We’re coming for your jobs & Oakland police dept. too.”
Protesters march toward City Hall during a peaceful rally against racial injustice and police violence in San Francisco.
Raymond Quitugua, left, of Sacramento carries the Trans Flag, and Elisha Carlisle, right, of Oakland takes a swing at a police car piñata during the S.F. march.