A young girl marching in the SF Pride Parade high-fives a spectator. (Lola Chase / Special to the S.F. Examiner)

Pride Parade draws thousands to downtown SF

50 years after the Stonewall riots, the annual celebration is themed ‘Generations of Resistance’

Thousands of people lined Market Street with rainbow flags Sunday morning to show solidarity with the LGBT community as San Francisco kicked off another year of the annual Pride Parade.

The theme of the weekend is “Generations of Resistance,” with this year marking a half century since the LGBT community rioted against police harassment during the Stonewall riots in New York City.

Sunday morning started out with speeches from presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor London Breed at the Pride breakfast hosted by the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. The breakfast is an annual gathering of local LGBT luminaries, activists and politicians.

“We remember those who marched at Stonewall,” Harris said. “We remember those who marched on Polk street in the first Pride parade.”

Harris went on to recall her deep ties to the Toklas club, which supported her during her race to become San Francisco’s district attorney 15 years ago. The club plays a crucial role in endorsing local politicians.

Shortly after 11 a.m., a group of about a dozen demonstrators blocked off the parade route near Market and Taylor streets in protest of police and “toxic corporations” participating in the celebration.

The group linked arms and halted the parade for about an hour.

“We will not rest until we have a pride free from police and toxic corporations that do not support our communities,” the protesters said in a letter distributed to passersby.

Police detained at least one protester before the group was escorted off the parade route peacefully.

Before the parade started, 71-year-old Pat Dornan staked out a spot near the beginning of the parade route with caution tape. She set up a buffet of fruits, mint Oreos and bottles of champagne and orange juice.

“This is a fun party,” said Dornan, a San Pablo resident who has been coming to the parade for 25 years. “This is nice for the community (to come) and say ‘hi’ to each other.”

Near Powell BART Station, 61-year-old Ruth Blair gathered with a group of friends. This is her second year coming to the parade.

“It’s important to be here to support other human beings,” said Blair, a Modesto resident.

The parade began at 10:30 a.m. at Market and Beale streets with the Dykes on Bikes motorcycle contingent revving their engines and honking their horns.

The parade route stretches down Market Street to Eighth Street, near where a Pride celebration is scheduled to be held at Civic Center Plaza from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. The celebration is free with a suggested donation.





The annual Pride Parade begins on Sunday June 30, 2019, with the Dykes on Bikes. (Lola Chase /Special to the S.F. Examiner)

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