Culture Aug 27, 2019 12:35 PM EST

Montreal Pride Parade bans Hong Kong pro-democracy activists

Henry Lam, an LGBTQ expat from Hong Kong, has said that Montreal Pride organizers barred his pro-democracy group from the Montreal Pride parade.

Montreal Pride Parade bans Hong Kong pro-democracy activists
Dylan Gibbons Montreal, QC
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Henry Lam, an LGBTQ expat from Hong Kong, has said that Montreal Pride organizers barred his pro-democracy group from the Montreal Pride Parade after police say they received threats from pro-Communist activists.

“Given the presence of public figures … we unfortunately have to remove you from the parade for security reasons,” Montreal Pride organizers said in an email, which was disseminated by CBC.

Lam told the CBC that he wanted to show solidarity with those in the Hong Kong protests, as well as LGBTQ activists who are participating in the pro-democracy movement and didn’t think his group’s presence would be an issue.

Montreal Pride has confirmed that they chose to remove Lam and his group from the parade, despite the presence of pro-China activists singing the Chinese national anthem in the parade. They cited “safety reasons,” but did not specify the nature of the supposed threats.

They added that Montreal Pride’s policies include abstaining from interfering with geopolitical conflicts.

“I thought when the police received tips about the potential attack, they would just beef up the protection … and I thought that Pride would do the same,” Lam told CBC.

“But instead they just removed us from the parade.”

“I thought,” he continued, “the whole LGBTQ movement is about anti-bullying and inclusion and diversity and equality for all. I couldn’t believe this happened.” Montreal police have refused to comment following requests

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