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Justice 4 Jamar will protest Twin Cities Pride parade

The Minneapolis parade is the biggest Pride celebration in the state.

The involvement of Minneapolis police officers at this weekend's Minneapolis Pride parade is resulting in a protest by the Twin Cities Coalition For Justice 4 Jamar.

Minneapolis police came to an agreement with Twin Cities Pride organizers last month that permits officers to take part in the parade, provided they don't wear their uniforms.

The move was taken after Pride representatives explained there was still "a great deal of pain and harm" caused by police in their community, particularly among LGBTIQ people of color.

But this agreement was angrily received by the Twin Cities Coalition For Justice 4 Jamar, which was set up in the wake of Jamar Clark's death at the hands of Minneapolis police in November 2015.

The organization will hold a protest at Hennepin and 5th Street during the parade on Sunday, demanding that Twin Cities Pride eliminate "police and law enforcement at all of their events."

It's one of a series of demands the coalition is making of Pride organizers, which also include demanding it divests "of all corporations as they promote the marginalization, exploitation, and criminalization of marginalized communities."

It's also requesting racial reparations be distributed to grassroots organizations of the coalition's choice.

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Twin Cities Pride responds

In a statement sent to BMTN, Twin Cities Pride said it had reached out to Justice 4 Jamar organizers to discuss their demands and their board's response.

"Unfortunately, Justice 4 Jamar was not willing to meet," it said, and explained why it couldn't accede to its demands.

"Justice 4 Jamar wanted Pride to ban all law enforcement from the parade. The mission of Pride is to create inclusive events where everyone has a sense of belonging," it said.

"Banning any one group from attending is in direct opposition to that mission," it added. "In addition, the permit from the city requires police presence at the events."

"Twin Cities Pride understands that all sides do not agree, but is hopeful that differences can be respected, ensuring a safe, welcoming experience for everyone at this year’s Pride events," it continued. 

There are a whole host of Pride events taking place between now and Sunday, including the Twin Cities Pride Festival at Loring Park that gets underway on Saturday.

The parade along Hennepin Avenue will start at 11 a.m. Sunday.

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