RESISTANCE WATCH--Organizers of Los Angeles Pride have announced a very different plan for the city’s annual 2017 Pride Festival. This year, instead of the annual Pride parade taking place, a #ResistMarch has been scheduled in response to the threat against the rights of minority Americans by current forces in the U.S. government.

According to WeHoVille, the Pride Festival will continue to be a ticketed event as it has every other year, and will include “a free transgender event and Sizzle sober area.” However, in conjunction with the festival’s downsizing due to construction, the parade will be replaced by an LGBTQ Resist March on Sunday, June 11. 

According to a mission statement published on the #ResistMarch’s website, the event is meant to harken back to “1970’s first LGBTQ+ Pride” and will involve marching “...in unity with those who believe that America’s strength is its diversity... Not just LGBTQ+ people but all Americans and dreamers will be wrapped in the Rainbow Flag and our unique, diverse, intersectional voices will come together in one harmonized proclamation.”

Brian Pendleton, Founder of #ResistMarch, told The Huffington Post, “After seeing the success of the Women’s March in January, I realized that LA Gay Pride should make a similar stand by protesting instead of parading.” He added, “This is important now because when any American’s rights are under threat, all our rights are threatened. Forces are gathering in government that intend to take away our hard-won basic human rights.  We hope #ResistMarch will send a clear message to them. We resist forces that would divide us.  We resist those who would take away our liberty. We resist homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and racism. Together, we resist.”

The LGBT Resist March will take place on June 11, 2017 from 8:00 AM-2:00 PM.

(James Michael Nichols Queer Voices Deputy Editor, The Huffington Post … where this resistance watch report was first posted.)


RESISTANCE--“I never thought I’d be fighting these same battles -- again.” That credo has become the rallying cry for those who raised signs and banners for the movements of the sixties and seventies. Now, those who were young children or not yet born join the earlier activists on the Trump-inspired front line. The following three equality events and marches are on the LA calendar within the next few months. 

March for Science (April 22 from 9 am to 4 pm)

Over 50,000 are expected to participate in the March for Science starting at Pershing Square, which has become Ground Zero for such activity in our city. LA’s March is one of over 300 independent satellite marches for the national March for Science in Washington, DC happening the same day. The LA March will also feature a science and technology expo. 

According to the umbrella website, the mission of The March for Science is to “champion robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest.” 

Transgender March for Equality (Tax Day April 15)

The Transgender Rights Movement will be holding the Transgender March for Equality in Downtown LA. The march, to be held from 11 am to 3 pm, is being held to address the rights of the transgender community. The group’s Facebook event page reads: We understand that our community spans all racial classifications, religions, cultures, ages, countries, political representations, and every other demographic group in the country and in the world. We ask for your solidarity and support in marching or us for all people.” 

The 1st Annual Los Angeles Rally and Walk for Equality (Sunday March 26)

The Feminist Majority will be conducting rallies and fundraising walks to support women’s equality, including the Equal Rights Amendment. The group’s First Annual Los Angeles Rally and Walk for Equality will be held at Pan Pacific Park. Visit the website to sign up for the walk.  

The Los Angeles March supports the ERA, an amendment that would secure women’s equality in the U.S. Constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment reads: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” 

The kickoff rally is scheduled to begin at 9:30 am with the walk to start at 10:30 am. As of posting, confirmed rally speakers include actor/producer Curtis Armstrong, Girls Learn International Alumna Julia Van Trees Cowitt, actor/activist Anabeth Gish, co-founder of UFW & President of Delores Huerta Foundation Delores Huerta, Actor/Activist Donna Mills, Women’s March Los Angeles Organizer Emiliana “Emi” Guernica, Comedians Frangela (aka Frances Callier & Angela Shelton), Feminist Majority Board Member Carol Ann Leif, Kamala Lopez -- award-winning director of “Equal Means Equal,” Dinah Stephens -- Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project, LA County, former CNN White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, and Ani Zonneveld - Muslims for Progressive Values 

Event organizers ask supporters to make a donation to the Rally & Walk for EQUALITY to create or join a team. Instructions and information about the event are available on the site.  

LA Pride Parade, Now #ResistMarch (June 6-11)

On June 18, 1970, Christopher Street West organized what was the very first permitted parade in Greater Los Angeles to advocate for gay rights, commemorating the first anniversary of New York’s Stonewall Rebellion. For the past 43 years, LA Pride Parade and Festival has been a fixture in West Hollywood. On June 11, 2017, however, one of the world’s largest pride parades will be replaced with #ResistMarch, announce Christopher Street West organizers.  

“LA Pride was founded upon the spirit of activism -- and today, continues in the footsteps of its founders,” reads the LA Pride website. A post on the website explains the event’s 2017 transformation. 

Christopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit organization responsible for producing the annual LA Pride Parade and Festival in West Hollywood, has taken its New Year’s resolutions seriously. Today, the CSW Board of Directors is excited to announce a number of important changes to LA Pride in 2017. ...Given the current political climate where divisiveness and discrimination continue to be part of mainstream dialogue, CSW is determined to make the LA Pride brand a unifying force for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies across all of Los Angeles. To accomplish this goal, the organization is introducing several community-focused initiatives to continue LA Pride’s long-standing history as a voice of and for the entire LGBTQ+ community. - LA Pride website. 

Events will be held between June 6-11, with LA Pride Festival held June 10-11 and #MarchResist on June 11.

 (Beth Cone Kramer is a Los Angeles writer and a columnist for CityWatch.)