Arlington’s MLK parade canceled after funding pulled amid protest threat

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces staffing changes at a press conference in the Capitol on Sept. 18, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces staffing changes at a press conference in the Capitol on Sept. 18, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Officials in North Texas have denied a permit for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade because they say organizers fell short on funding for security and traffic management.

The parade planned for Arlington had drawn threats of protests and boycotts after it was announced Gov. Greg Abbott would serve as honorary grand marshal.

Event spokeswoman Winsor Barbee told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the parade costs about $250,000 and organizers fell short by about $60,000 because several sponsors pulled their funding over the boycott threats.

Local NAACP officials say they support canceling the parade because Abbott’s participation would have forced them to protest an event meant to honor King. They say Abbott’s political beliefs are antithetical to those of the civil rights leader.

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