LAKEVIEW — The 2015 Chicago Pride Parade came to a grinding halt around 1:45 p.m. Sunday as protesters staged a "die-in" to draw attention to the challenges facing LGBT communities of color.
About 15 protesters, most wearing black shirts sporting #BlackOutPride logos, were marching in the parade before they reached Addison and Halsted streets. Then, some laid down on the ground and others sat in a circle around them, bringing the parade to a stop.
They chanted "Black lives matter" and "Stonewall was a f---ing riot," a reminder of June 1969 riots for LGBT rights in New York that led to pride parades in Chicago and around the country.
After the pause in the parade progression was noted by the crowd, some booed, while other cheered the protesters.
Police officers spoke to a woman who appeared to lead the protesters, who refused to disband at officers' request. After about 10 minutes, about six of the protesters were led away from the intersection in handcuffs and taken to the Town Hall police district, 850 W. Addison St.
Chicago Police did not immediately comment about the incident.
In a statement, the protesters wrote, "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 violence—trans people, women, people with disabilities and mental illness, black and brown folk, indigenous people, immigrants, sex workers and street youth."
Organizers noted that these issues have taken a backseat amid the fight for marriage equality.
The statement quoted organizer NIC Kay: “Queer youth experiencing homelessness, and the plight of trans and queer communities of color, is not merely an issue of transphobia and homophobia in black and brown communities; it is equally about classism, racism, and gentrification."
#PrideParade interrupted with planned #BlackOutPride protest/die-in. While about 15-20 people were involved in the protest that blocked the parade at Addison and Halsted, about 6-10 were led away in handcuffs and taken to the Town Hall Police District. #blacklivesmatter #chicago #chipride #chicagopride
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