London festival

London Police to participate in Pride London Festival

Content of the article

For the first time in four years, London police officers will take part in the Pride London Festival.

Content of the article

Festival organizers and London Police said on Monday they had settled their disputes which began in 2018 when organizers banned officers from marching in uniform during the Pride Parade.

Police participation in the city’s annual festival of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will begin on Tuesday when the rainbow flag is hoisted at London Police Headquarters.

The organizers of the Pride London Festival last year asked London police not to display the flag as an emblem of support for the LGBTQ2S + community, but the force went ahead and did it anyway.

This year’s festival will run July 15-25 and be held virtually for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The sworn and civilian members of the London Police Service are proud allies of the LGBTQ2S + community, and we know that our strength as a city and as a community lies in our diversity and our ability to work together to achieve this. ‘inclusion and equality for all,’ London Police Chief Steve Williams said on Monday.

Content of the article

“It is a small step but an important step and marks a turning point for the two organizations”, declared Monday Stephen D’Amelio, chairman of the board of directors of the festival. This decision was “requested by both our members and by some of our most engaged members of the community,” he said.

Williams said Pride invited police to attend the festival after several months of talks. “These discussions have been very difficult, vulnerable and honest,” he said.

“While we know there is still work to be done, we are very pleased that Pride London has hosted the London Police Service to participate in this year’s virtual pride celebration.”

Pride London urged London police not to wear their uniforms during the 2018 parade, citing concerns from members who said the presence of large numbers of uniformed officers was a hindrance for some people.

The rainbow flag outside the police headquarters on Dundas Street will fly at half mast “out of respect and recognition of the horrific tragedy uncovered in Kamloops,” D’Amelio added in reference to the discovery of the remains of at least 215 Aboriginal children at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia.