Texas MLK parade canceled after protest threat hurts funding

ARLINGTON, Texas — A Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in North Texas has been canceled just days after groups threatened to boycott the event because Gov. Greg Abbott was chosen as honorary grand marshal.

Arlington city officials said they denied a parade permit because organizers fell short on funding for security and traffic management, not because of the potential protests and boycotts.

Event spokeswoman Winsor Barbee told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that organizers were short by about $60,000 because several sponsors pulled their funding over the boycott threats.

Local NAACP officials said they support canceling the parade because Abbott's participation would have forced them to protest an event meant to honor King. They contend that Abbott's record of supporting a state voter ID law, threatening to withhold funding from sanctuary cities and support for legislative redistricting is antithetical to the legacy of the civil rights leader.

Abbott's office called the potential protest a politicization of an event meant to unify Texans. Abbott later tweeted that he had committed his life to ensuring justice and he represents all Texans.

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Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com

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