Protesters interrupt San Francisco Pride Parade, block parade route for an hour

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The San Francisco Pride Parade on Sunday was blocked for more than hour by protesters critical of corporate and police involvement in the annual event.

Soon after the parade began at 10:30 a.m., the protesters linked themselves together with rainbow tubes at 11:05 a.m., on Market Street near Sixth Street.

As the parade backed up behind the protest, police said the activists threw water bottles at officers and two people were arrested from the group.

The protesters talked to parade organizers and eventually agreed to leave the street and re-open the route about 12:10 p.m., according to police.

Organizers of Sunday's action said they are skeptical of the role in the parade of police and corporations, who they say have co-opted Pride over the last 50 years.

The police have a long history of homophobia, organizers argue.

That history involves the former site of Compton's Cafeteria, a late-night bar in the Tenderloin frequented by transgender people.

Police would often raid the bar until the bar patrons fought back one night in August 1966.

A similar protest three years later led to what is now known as the Pride parade.

Pride grew out of protests that started with the Stonewall riots in New York.

Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, on June 28, 1969.

After a crowd grew outside, fighting broke out with the police. Riots continued a second night and residents of Greenwich Village held a series of protests.

The first Pride marches were held in several cities, including San Francisco, to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Stonewall.

The event is considered a watershed moment in the LGBT rights movement.

As the movement has gained ground, Pride has become more institutionalized, with mainstream acceptance of the parade, which draws tens of thousands of people annually in San Francisco.

That mainstream acceptance has also led to corporate sponsorships and a heavy police presence.

This year, Pride parades worldwide are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

In New York it is expected to be the largest Pride celebration in history.

Organizers of Sunday's action released a list of demands on Facebook, which included removing police and corporations from Pride, making it more accessible for people with disabilities, and that the city not prepare for the parade by removing homeless people, many of whom are part of the LGBT community.