San Francisco’s Pride Parade came to a halt Sunday morning when a group of protesters blocked off Market Street calling for the removal of police and “toxic corporations” from the celebration.
About a dozen protesters linked arms on Market and Taylor streets shortly after 11 a.m., saying that they planned to stop the parade for 50 minutes commemorating the 50 years since the Stonewall riots.
Police said two people were taken into custody after the protesters “broke down barricades and threw water bottles at officers.”
At least one protester allegedly struggled with officers and one officer suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to police.
Police said they arrested Taryn Saldivar, 21, of Oakland, on suspicion of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and interfering with a parade route, and Kenneth Bilecki, 27, of Santa Rosa, on suspicion of resisting arrest and interfering with a parade route.
— Lola Chase (@LolaTheReporter) June 30, 2019
Minutes before taking over the street, protesters gathered with signs that said said “Pinko Commie Dykes against cops” and “Death to the Police State” as a purple-haired demonstrator named Zedgar Infiniti took up a microphone.
“For too many years, San Francisco has chosen to ignore a safer Pride without police,” Infiniti said. “They brutally arrested several trans people over the past years. We ask for the police to release every trans (person) from San Francisco’s jail.”
The protest upset some in the crowd who came to celebrate Pride.
“They are here to protect you,” shouted Juan, 47, who declined to give his last name.
Juan burst into tears as he watched the demonstration unfold.
“This is embarrassing,” he said. “I’m from New York and came to celebrate the Parade in San Francisco for the first time. I can’t wait to go home and celebrate. In New York, we embrace the police.”
The demonstrators handed out a list of demands to passersby.
“No longer can we sit on the sidelines as SF Pride pretends to celebrate ‘Generations of Resistance’ on the 50th anniversary of the fight against police violence at the Stonewall Inn,” the letter read. “We call on the true generations of resistance including the Compton’s Cafeteria riots to stand here today and end this hypocrisy and demand true support and liberation for our communities.”
The theme of the parade and weekend is “Generations of Resistance” in honor of the LGBT community rioting against police harrassment in New York City at the Stonewall Inn.
— Michael Barba (@mdbarba) June 30, 2019
The protest is being held by groups including Abolish ICE SF and Gay Shame, which has long protested police marching in the Pride Parade.
The protest ended peacefully at around noon with the demonstrators being escorted off the parade route.
“Pride Event organizers made contact with the protesters,” a police spokesperson said. “At approximately 12:01 p.m. the protesters agreed to leave the street and re-open the parade route.”
This story has been updated to include additional information.