LA Pride Parade Moves Smoothly Through WeHo Despite Real and Feared Disruptions

transgender, la pride
Sheriff’s deputies interrupt demonstration on Santa Monica Boulevard at Westbourne by transgender people at LA Pride parade.

The 46th annual LA Pride parade made its way down Santa Monica Boulevard today despite some real and feared disruptions. The feared obstacle was a report from the Santa Monica police that they had arrested a man on Sunday morning who was planning to attend the West Hollywood event and whose car was loaded with three automatic rifles and a container of explosive material. That news was especially troubling given the massacre of 50 gay people in a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday morning by a gunman who professed his support for ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group.

The arrest prompted a major increase in security by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, which provides public safety services to WeHo. In addition to more deputies on the street, other security measures included bag checks at the entry to the Pride festival in West Hollywood Park and some local bars. Because of those checks people waiting to enter the festival event were lined up along Santa Monica Boulevard from its intersection with San Vicente to its intersection with Robertson Boulevard.

Another brief interruption occurred at Santa Monica Boulevard’s intersection with Westbourne Avenue when a group of transgender activists tried to stop the parade. Members of the group demanded more awareness of transgender issues, a subject raised weeks ago when members of the community learned that Christopher Street West, organizer of the Pride event, had decided to reduce its focus on transgender people at the Pride festival and turn it into a music festival aimed at young people. People on the scene told WEHOville that sheriff’s deputies interrupted the protest so the parade could continue.

An attempted interruption led to the removal of Nir Zilberman, the owner of a local clothing store who is known for his loud and bombastic comments at civic events, including meetings of the West Hollywood City Council. Zilberman walked up to the West Hollywood city commission float, which included members of the city council and various city commissions, to object to their participating in LA Pride after the Orlando attack. Dressed as a Nazi concentration camp victim and waving Israeli, American and gay rainbow flags, Zilberman walked alongside and in front of the float, screaming obscenities and making obscene gestures to those on it until he was handcuffed and removed by a Sheriff’s deputy. On his Facebook page Zilberman said he “almost went to jail, for speaking my mind, for saying the truth, for being the voice of those LGBTQI they lost they lives to AIDS. It’s nothing more sad, to see our LA FAKE PRIDE, keep going on with loud music, men in underwear and like i always say, LIVING IN A FANTASY LAND.”

NOTE:  An earlier version of this story said that Nir Zilberman was arrested for his activity adjacent to a parade float.  In fact Zilberman was not arrested. He was removed by deputies from the parade route. The story has been updated to reflect that.

LA Pride festival attendees go through a screening device and have bags and purses checked.
LA Pride festival attendees go through a screening device and have bags and purses checked.
From left, City Councilmembers Lindsey Horvath (in red) and John Duran (in black tank top) and Mayor Lauren Meister (in orange blouse) on WeHo Commission float in LA Pride parade.
From left, City Councilmembers Lindsey Horvath (in red) and John Duran (in black tank top) and Mayor Lauren Meister (in orange blouse) on WeHo Commission float in LA Pride parade. Councilmember John Heilman is facing the other way behind Duran.

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LOVE NO HATE
Guest

Few things you forgot to write i was wearing the PINK TRIANGLE on my concentration camp victim outfit to show what’s happened in ORLANDO is the same, dead LGBTQI are DEAD LGBTQI. Steve Martin and few of my friends, was there when i asked young LGBTQI, what the PINK TRIANGLE mean? NON of them knew. you can confirm this with Steve Martin, long time WEHO activist. YES, I DO STAND STRONG, What happened in ORLANDO, it’s what happening in ISRAEL 24/7. Shame that in WEHO just few hours after The biggest tragedy that happened to our LGBTQ community in America… Read more »

fine7760
Guest

Half the time I have no idea what Zilberman is ranting about at the City council meetings. I was wondering, scared, what was holding up the parade for ten to fifteen minutes.

It looked as if the festival might be fun but I was not going to wait in that long line for two hours just to get in. I wonder how many others did the same. Perhaps more than one entrance should have been provided like at Long beach Gay Pride which I have found to be more fun.

robert
Guest
robert

good for him for calling out what is wrong with west Hollywood since no one else has had the courage to do so.

Tom Smart
Guest
Tom Smart

Zilberman clearly needs his head examined. We’ve watched his stunts and rants for how long now? The passion he has for his causes are blurred by his far-out antics, so he isn’t getting any message across at all.