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'Resist March' to take the place of LA Pride Parade this June

Participants take part in the 2016 L.A. Pride Festival parade in West Hollywood on June 12, 2016.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
Participants take part in the 2016 L.A. Pride Festival parade in West Hollywood on June 12, 2016.

While the L.A. Pride Festival as a whole will go on, a protest march will replace the gay pride festival's annual parade along Santa Monica Boulevard this year. The "Resist March" will start the morning of June 11 at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, organizers said Tuesday. Instead of cheering colorfully decorated floats, organizers said, attendees will peacefully walk from the starting point to West Hollywood, “where Pride grew up."

Organizers hope the march will become a “living, breathing human monument for human rights,” Brian Pendleton, chairman for Christopher Street West, told KPCC. Christopher Street West is the gay rights nonprofit that organizes the L.A. Pride Festival.

“We want to send a clear message that we want to resist homophobia,” Pendleton said. “We want to resist xenophobia and sexism and racism.”

The march will not be an anti-Donald Trump rally, Pendleton said. Rather, he added, it will be a chance for anyone beyond the gay/queer community to come together and resist what organizers call the country’s “unfavorable discourse” around Muslims, immigrants and women’s reproductive rights. 

Christopher Street West organized L.A.'s first permitted gay rights parade in 1970, according to the organization's website. In recent years, the parade has embraced a more celebratory tone in light of recent advances in rights for LGBT Americans, Pendleton said.

"For the last eight years, [the gay rights movement] has had the wind in our sails, and we've made some incredible gains," Pendleton said. "And we don't have that now. I think now is the moment for us to refocus and get back to our roots."

A Facebook event had almost 9,000 people saying they will attend, along with 24,000 who say they're interested. Pendleton said that the Resist March was inspired by the success of the Women's March in January and that event's massive turnout.