Neonazis march on first Slovakian gay pride; 6th Romanian gay pride unfolds smoothly
Two European gay prides took place last Saturday, 22nd may. Whilst the Bucharest event unfolded without any incident, the first march in Bratislava was met by neo-nazi violence and unprepared police forces.
LGBT Rainbow Festival disturbed by neo-nazi violence in Bratislava, Slovakia
The first-ever LGBT Rainbow Festival and gay pride in Bratislava unfolded at an alternative location after ranks of neo-nazi thugs shouted, tear-gased and injured a small number of participants.
A crowd of 1,000 had gathered for a demonstration authorised by city authorities, but for which police forces were unable to provide adequate protection.
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, took part in the event. Following the parade, she declared:
It has been an important victory that Bratislava Pride did take place–even though we did not march through the city centre, but with hundreds of rainbow flags across the Danube bridge to the other shore.
The few violent incidents–among which one right-wing extremist throwing stones at me as I addressed the crowd (and missing his target)–did not prevent us from celebrating the first Bratislava Pride. The Slovakian LGBT community can be proud of having obtained the permission to march, and gathered as many as a thousand participants.
Radicals take up public space only when allowed; that is why I am convinced that the government’s duty is to work against nationalistic, racist and homophobic hate speech and violence.
The Intergroup will follow up on Saturday’s events, and ask authorities to ensure appropriate security is provided in the future.
Successful day for the 6th GayFest in Bucharest, Romania
On the same day, Michael Cashman MEP addressed a crowd of 350 gathered for the annual gay pride event in the Romanian capital. The event unfolded without any violence, as potentially violent counter-demonstrators gathered earlier in the day, and were subsequently kept at bay by a strong police presence.