The D.C. Capital Pride Parade was disrupted by protesters Saturday who say the event is too corporate and marginalizes minorities and the very community the tradition was created to celebrate.
Protesters from No Justice No Pride linked arms to block the parade route near 15th and P streets in Northwest Washington about 5:30 p.m. With a pink, turquoise and yellow banner stretched across the street, the protesters shouted “What side are my people? What side are you on?” and “No justice, no pride.”
“Capital Pride has consistently demonstrated that it is more interested in accommodating the interests of Metropolitan police and of corporate sponsors than it is in supporting the very communities it supposedly represents,” the group wrote in a statement announcing its disruption of the parade.
“Capital Pride is a sham, corporate scum don’t give a damn,” one person posted on Twitter with the hashtag #NoJusticeNoPride.
Police formed two lines around the group and allowed them to continue protesting while the parade was rerouted down 16th Street toward Rhode Island Avenue.
Police Chief Peter Newsham was on the scene and said officers made no arrests.
“We anticipated this. We knew there would be counterprotests,” Newsham said. “We had planned for an alternative route, and that’s what we used.”
The disruption upset paradegoers, who yelled back to the protesters, “Shame! Shame!”
“I fought for 20 years for this, and now you’re going to ruin the parade,” one man said.
Protesters with No Justice No Pride say Capital Pride organizers have cooperated too closely with police and corporations — institutions that marginalize minorities including immigrants, the queer and trans communities, and people of color.
In response, one of the parade attendees yelled, “How dare you insinuate we’re racists.”
Some of the protesters wound up marching along the planned route of the Capital Pride parade after it was rerouted. The protest thinned shortly before 7 p.m.
The parade — which featured community groups, drag queens, plenty of dogs and nearly 200 floats — started about 4:30 p.m. at 22nd and P streets NW. It was originally slated to travel a mile and a half through Dupont Circle toward Logan Circle.
Justin Wm. Moyer contributed to this report.