Pride-colour-decorated vehicles are to roll through White Rock convoy-style July 24, as part of the White Rock Pride Society’s 1st Annual Pride Ride. (White Rock Pride Society Facebook photo)

First-annual White Rock Pride Ride welcomes police

‘Bigger story’ of July 24 event is stance that differs from Vancouver counterparts: organizer

The White Rock Pride Society will host its 1st annual Pride Ride tonight (July 24), in an effort to mark the end of Pride Week with a safe and socially distanced celebration.

President Ernie Klassen said it was planned a couple months ago, following cancellation of the group’s Love is Love gala fundraiser due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expecting at least 30 vehicles to participate, Klassen said the ride event has an important component – it welcomes police.

“I thought that was more of a story than the Pride Ride itself… given that Vancouver Pride and Toronto Pride have alienated or disallowed the police to be part of their parade,” he said Wednesday (July 22).

The Vancouver Pride Society in June announced that it would not allow police officers or prison guards to march in its Pride Parade.

READ MORE: Vancouver Pride isn’t ‘going away from their roots’ in parade police ban: Surrey Mountie

The decision followed the growing Black Lives Matter movement throughout Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere following the death of George Floyd, who died while being restrained by police in Minneapolis.

“We stand with Black communities who have taken to the streets to demand accountability from the police,” stated a post on the society’s website.

Klassen said the White Rock Pride Society is not taking the same stance.

“We are saying that we are going against what the Vancouver Pride Parade is doing and we do not want to alienate the police, we want to work together with them,” he said.

“We’re saying that people should be allowed to have differing opinions, but we want to be an inclusive organization of everyone – within reason, of course,” he added. “We’re not looking at groups that are… illegal.”

White Rock RCMP Const. Chantal Sears confirmed local Mounties were invited to attend, but she did not immediately know how many were planning to participate.

The Mounties “are pleased to have been asked,” Sears said in a July 22 statement to Peace Arch News.

”We believe in and promote inclusion throughout our community. Having a mutually positive relationship with the WR Pride society strengthens our city.”

Klassen said all those planning to participate in the ride are encouraged to decorate their vehicles, preferably with pride colours.

A post to the White Rock Pride Society Facebook page asks that participants “have your car decorated to scream #pride.”

The route is being mapped out by White Rock RCMP and will include Marine Drive and hopefully Johnston Road, he said.

There is no pre-registration. Those interested are asked to meet at Centennial Arena (14600 North Bluff Rd.) at 6:30 p.m. to add their car, truck or motorcycle to the convoy of decorated vehicles.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusPride WeekSurreyWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read