Columbus Pride protesters wanted more inclusion at pride festivals

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Before the Pride Parade could get underway in Columbus on Saturday morning, dozens of protestors blocked the route in hopes to hold a seven-minute moment of silence for slain Minnesota man Philando Castile and to express what they said in a statement is “an effort to raise awareness about the violence against and erasure of black and brown queer and trans people, in particular the lack of space for black and brown people at pride festivals.”

Because the protestors did not have a permit to block the street, Columbus Police intervened and four people were arrested.

Dozens of cell phones captured the incident on camera.

“When we have individuals trying to film us doing our job, we’re fine with that. It’s not going to stop us from doing our and, sometimes, it doesn’t look pretty, but it’s effective,” says Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner. “In this case, they were infringing on the rights of the people who obtained the proper permits to have their parade.”

The protestors declined to speak with NBC4 on Monday morning.

The outrage comes as 15 refugees from the LGBTQ community were made grand marshals at this year’s parade. Stonewall Columbus, which organizes the Columbus Pride Festival, said they plan to meet in July to ensure that every member of the LGBTQ community feels welcome in Central Ohio.

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