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Pride At Montrose Organizers Say Police Forced Them To Shut Down Early

By Mae Rice in News on Jun 27, 2016 3:50PM

Pride at Montrose 2015 (photo via Facebook)

Pride at Montrose, a Pride event geared towards people of color, was cut short by police intervention. Slated to run until 7 p.m., it ended up shuttering at about 1 p.m. Event organizers posted the following on their Facebook page, saying they were "forced to end early:"

The Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus (CBGMC) reported that police shut down the event's music stage at 1 p.m. because "the barricade around the stage was too short" in a more detailed note about the shutdown. They said the barricades were the same height as barricades at the Pride Parade (though we could not immediately reach Pride Parade organizers to confirm this).

Erik Glenn, executive director of the CBGMC, posted videos of police taking shelter under the event tents and using the Port-a-Potties as they shut down the festivities. Pride at Montrose organizers paid for those amenities, Glenn noted.

The note from CBGMC also said:

We were peaceful, we were beautiful. But it didn't matter. The CPD knew they wanted to shut us down before the event even started. Black people everywhere know we are judged as violent before we even begin.

A post in the Facebook group for queer dance party collective Chances Dances, shared by the Chances Dances organizer Aay Preston-Myint, tells a similar story of the shutdown and its causes. The post argues that the barricades used at the event were "the same setup used for the past 8 years."

Chances Dances was part of the entertainment lineup for the festival.

Chicago Police have no information on the shutdown as of yet. "I [don't] have any record of CPD shutting anything down," CPD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told Chicagoist just before 10 a.m. He was in the process of checking in with district and special units.

Plans for Pride at Montrose, a free event, included free HIV testing and music from Derrick Carter, GUCCIROXX and more.

We'll update this post if we get more information from the Chicago Police Department or Pride at Montrose organizers.