On the 8th of June, conflict between tradtionalists and assimilationists in the GLBT community came to a head with a showdown at Capitol Pride. The Booty Bragidiers staged a pirate-themed parade out of Logan Circle, and marched to intercept the Pride Parade. Once there, they blockaded the Wells Fargo and Citbank’s parade floats from passing.
Signs carried by the pirate march explictly condemned the corporatization of Pride, with slogans like “Stonewall wasn’t sponsored by Bud Light.”
One of the targets, Wells Fargo, was hit for the second year in a row. Last year, there was a disruption of their booth at the Festival protesting Well’s Fargo’s investments in the GEO Group. GEO owns private prisons, some of which have been abusing transgender inmates. That being so, Wells Fargo has no more right to march in Pride than the so-called “Family Research Council” does!
The police were slow to push the Booth Brigadiers out of the streets on both occasions, but were also heavily outnumbered by Occupiers and Radical Cheeerleaders. The thought of another mouthful of “wrestling with bacon on the bottom” clearly did not appeal to the cops. When they did clear the streets, they relied only on pushing and shoving, avoiding arrests or wrestling on asphalt.
On the other hand, some of the folks the banks had manning their floats were quite aggressive. The driver of the Citibank truck was the worst, trying to use his engine to slowly push a bicycle blackade with his bumper. He was not directly sucessful, but eventually the combination of the few cops and hordes of bank float marchers pushed a path through.
The final act was yet to come. One of the progressive contingents in the parade was a Bradely Manning support contingent, When it passed, the Booty Bragadiers pushed through the cops and joined them, marching the rest of the parade route with the Bradley Manning support contingent.