Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bratislava Pride 2010

Today was Bratislava's 1st ever gay pride parade. Or at least it was supposed to be. The event seemed pretty well-organized and several foreign diplomats had even confirmed their attendance. I heard that between 500-1,000 people showed up.

Then about +80 neo-Nazis showed up to put an end to the festivities. According to the news, fascists threw rocks, eggs and a tear gas canister in to the crowd. And two people carring the rainbow flag were assulted and hit in the face. There were 200 police officers on duty and 29 people were arrested, many belonging to the ultra-right wing nationalist Slovenská Pospolitos party. Hasn't this part of the world already had enough of fascism?

In the lead up to Saturday, 17 different embassies, including the American Embassy, issued a joint statement supporting Bratislava's Gay Pride event.

Since the police were unable to guarantee everyone's safety, the parade was cancelled. Given that the pride parade had been planned out months in advance, and that foreign diplomats were going to be there, then it seems to me like the police should have planned things a little better. I wonder what it's going to be like when Brno has its pride festival next month?

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