Winnipeg Pride Parade briefly halted by blockade


A group of protesters briefly blocked the Winnipeg Pride Parade.

Images of the parade showed a group of people standing in a line to block the event in downtown Winnipeg at the corner of Portage Avenue and Fort Street.

A press release from a group of protesters said they were demanding that Pride Winnipeg “end its complicity in genocide, divest from corporate pinkwashing, withdraw police from Pride, and center QTBIPOC leadership.”

It goes on to say that dozens of protesters took to Portage Avenue carrying a banner that read “No Pride in Genocide.”

Protesters are calling on the organization to return to Pride's political roots, adding that there have been previous calls for accountability from Black and Indigenous peoples and other members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Chantale Garand, a spokeswoman for the group, said Pride Winnipeg has continually ignored concerns raised by community members.

“We want space for queer joy and safety, especially as attacks on queer and especially transgender people are currently on the rise,” Garand said in a press release.

“But we refuse to host a party in our name funded by corporations that profit from ongoing genocides – that is an insult to our shared queer history. We honor the first stone that was cast.”

After about 20 minutes the blockade ended and shortly after noon the parade started moving again.

Pride Winnipeg said in a statement that discussions had taken place during the blockade to reach agreement on changes.

It added that it is committed to working with the community, starting with regular consultations, to ensure Pride Winnipeg represents the diversity of all 2SLGBTQ+ people. Consultations will begin next week.

“Our community is diverse, strong and vibrant – we are committed to ensuring that the future leadership of our organization represents this,” the statement said.

“Pride Winnipeg is also committed to ensuring that our organization is safe and accessible to all members of our community, with a priority on 2SQTBIPOC representation in leadership positions.”

Pride Winnipeg further stated that the protesters were peaceful and exercised their right to protest for change.