The Walk with Pride Project
This is a gay issue.
This is a straight issue.
This is a human rights issue.
Walk With Pride (WWP) is a project to photograph and document gay pride parades around the globe. Our aim is to promote pride, empathy, and understanding on an international level, while highlighting the similarities and differences in gay rights and gay culture around the world.
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Tag Archives: pride march
Thousands marched in the Holy Land on Thursday as part of the Jerusalem LGBT equality march.
There were no floats and no DJs, as this year’s Jerusalem March was being held in remembrance for the 2 people tragically killed at last year’s LGBT youth center shooting in Tel Aviv. An estimated 1,500 police were in attendance, more as a preventative measure, as protests were minor.
Participants marched from Independence Park to the Parliament building, where a rally was held asking the government to promote equality and help end the violence toward Israel’s LGBT community.
See Images of Jerusalem Pride and of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance at:
Courtesy of the Jerusalem Open House website.
On the anniversary of the murders at Bar-Noar, those injured in the attack and the families of the two murdered activists will march along with the Jerusalem Open House (JOH) and other LGBT organizations from across the state of Israel in a rally culminating with a demonstration in front of the Knesset (Israeli parliament). This Jerusalem Pride March will mark the end of a year of mourning and the beginning of a year of activism in pursuit of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights and the eradication of discrimination and hate.
On Saturday September 1st, 2009 an armed man clad in a black mask burst into a youth support group meeting in the basement of Bar Noar – an LGBT youth organization on Nahmani Street in Tel Aviv. The intruder open fired, killing the group’s leader Nir Katz and Liz Terobishi, who was only 16 at the time. Eleven others were injured, leaving two additional teenagers permanently disabled. The perpetrator was never found.
This tragedy serves as a terrible reminder to the LGBT community that we cannot tolerate any form of discrimination, intolerance, or prejudice. Many public figures pledged their support of our efforts, including Knesset members and ministers from all corners of the political spectrum. Some of these included Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Gideon Saar, Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat, Minister for Social Welfare Services Isaac Herzog and Minister for Minority Affairs Avishay Braverman. But how will these promises of change be implemented?
The JOH has dedicated this year’s Jerusalem Pride March to creating tangible changes in discriminatory legislation, and resource allocation. We do not seek to “provoke”, but rather to draw attention to the fact that Israeli law and public policy still discriminate against members of the LGBT community. The time has come to take action.
The 2010 Jerusalem Pride will take place July 29.
And, here’s a program of the week’s events: Pride Events
It was incredibly hot and sunny for Budapest Pride. However, that didn’t stop almost 1,000 people turning out for Pride.
While previous marches were held in public view, since the violence of the 2007 and 2008 Budapest Prides, the march now takes place on a closed off section of one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Andrassy Street. Ahead of the event, organizers were in disputes with police over the length of the Pride. While last year they were allowed to walk down the entire length of the street, this year they could only go half-way. The police said due to flooding problems in the South of Hungary, they didn’t have enough gates to block off the whole street.
Chad and I set off around 9 in the morning to watch the gates being set up (on half of Andrassy). We also watched them install some video cameras along the Pride route. Around 11am, police in full riot gear turned out. I can guess this must have been really unbearable in the July heat, as I was baking in a tee-shirt and jeans.
One of the difficulties of having a closed off Pride March is deciding who to let in. And, unfortunately, a few people who would later cause a minor disruption of the Pride procession were mistakenly let in, as well as three completely wasted individuals that proceeded to give television interviews while falling over drunk (and in general made asses out of themselves).
The march started around 4p, after the arrival of a large decorated float with music blasting from speakers onboard. About a thousand people, including quite a few heterosexual supporters, marched down Andrassy Street. I noticed several signs against homophobia, and against fascism. The event reminded me very much of Romania’s GayFest, as people walked and danced down a big empty street.
Everything was going fine and was very festive until 4 right-wingers who had infiltrated the pride took a stand in front of the truck. Not wanting to run anyone down, whoever was driving the truck decided to stop, and the police rushed out to arrest the skinheads. However, this did cause a minor disruption to the procession, and organizers decided to turn back the march at that point as it was nearly to the end of the route anyway.
The speeches for this Pride took place before the event, so when the march had returned to the starting point those on the organizing committee began ushering participants into the closed-off metro, where police would escort them to safe exit points away from the event. This was good in theory, but they chose to use the metro entrance right in front of those demonstrating against the Pride, instead of any of the previous 4 empty stops on the closed off street.
As you might guess the right-wing protestors just a metal barrier away from those participating in the Pride march began chanting anti-homophobic slogans. Pride participants would respond with chants against homophobia and fascism. While the police outside the gate kept trying to quiet the skin heads and other protestors, the volunteer organizers inside the gated area tried to do the same – encouraging people to be silent and not to provoke the protestors.
The organizers had just fears concerning safety, however this still didn’t go over well as many who had come to participate in Budapest Pride wanted to speak up and demonstrate against homophobia. The photo below shows one young man trying to hold out his rainbow flag, as organizers link hands and try to push him away from the barricade.
On September 4th those opposing the pride have promised to hold their own heterosexual march down Andrassy Street.
To view more images check out the WWP: Behind the Photos blog
On Monday morning we arrived in Hungary, still slightly exhausted from catching an 8a.m. flight into Budapest. However, we are looking forward to documenting Budapest Pride.
While this year the annual Budapest Pride march will be celebrating its 15th anniversary, the march has also been plagued by escalating levels of violence. While the first 11 marches only had only minor disruptions, starting in 2007 the events have had more violent protests. Not only eggs, but also beer cans, smoke bombs, and other trash were thrown at participants. The ultra-nationalists have also chanted disturbing slogans like, “Queers into the Danube, Jews after them.” After this pride eleven attacks took place on those who had participated in the Pride. In 2008 the Police Chief tried to deny the organizers permission to hold the Pride, but this decision was soon reversed. However, levels of violence increased with Nationalists websites encouraging violence on the LGBT community, and publishing lists of gay hangouts – some of which were later attacked with Molotov cocktails. During the 2008 pride, bottles, rocks, firecrackers, and gasoline bombs were thrown at the participants.
Starting in 2009 the strategy of isolating the march from public view was put into practice, and this will be the same strategy employed this year. Unfortunately, already this year Pride organizers have had to face disruptions caused by neo-Nazis. A dozen showed up on Sunday at the opening of the Pride festival, including two who attacked a participant leaving the event. Again, like many of the places we’ve visited, the perpetrators of these hateful actions are youths!
Anyway, it should be an eventful time documenting this Pride, and getting to know the community hosting the march. We are spending the early part of this week attending workshops hosted by the Pride.
To see a full schedule of programs, check out:
Leaving Sofia, Bulgaria, we’ve headed to the United Kingdom, so that on Saturday we can attend Pride London. This Pride is a little different from some of the others we’ve documented as it is so huge. Last year’s Pride march had 1 million people attending.
While for the smaller Prides we usually spend the week before a Pride getting to know the organizers and documenting the preparations, for this parade we’ve gotten a little beak. So the past few days we’ve been visiting a friend who lives in Wales. After documenting 11 prides so far this year, it’s been more than nice to get a few days break.
Doing this project we’ve experienced all kinds of Prides, from marches just starting out and fighting to be able to publicly share their pride, to those that have become big festive parades. As you can guess, London Pride is the latter. While it is easy to sensationalize Prides like this, as outrageous customs are very much the norm, our plan is to focus on portraits. Doing this, our desire is to keep attention on individuals. We just hope it doesn’t rain!
For more information on London Pride: http://www.pridelondon.org/
A gallery for Sofia Pride is now online.
This was the country’s third Pride …
(Sofia Pride 2010)
It’s amazing to think how Sofia Pride has grown since the first march in 2008. That first 2008 Pride faced fierce opposition from neo-Nazi protestors throwing Molotov cocktails, and 88 protestors being arrested by the police. Since then, the march has grown from a little over 100 participants to 2010’s march which had well over 700 supporters taking part.
The morning of the Pride we met with some of the volunteer organizers of Sofia Pride. Chad actually managed to give them quite a shock, as when we arrived outside their apartment and saw a rainbow flag, Chad pulled out his camera, and inside they just saw a guy in all black hanging around their window and pulling something out of a bag…yah, oops! One of the reasons they were on edge was from a news report they’d been looking at online about an ultra-nationalist protest march that had taken place that morning. About 100 nationalists had rallied in support of homophobia and intolerance. Again, this group had many crazy “facts” concerning homosexuality concerning how dangerous LGBT people are, yet I don’t think this morning they were the ones worried about their demonstration being attacked.
A few hours before the Pride we left for the old headquarters of Sofia Pride, which was in the office of Gemini. I’m not sure the complete story, but Gemini had been one of the main LGBT organizations in Bulgaria, before it had stopped operations last year. It didn’t take long for this place to fill up with people, balloons, and all things rainbow. Michael Cashmen, UK Labor MEP and co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup (and someone who we’d seen both at the Lithuanian and Romanian Prides), arrived to show his support for Sofia Pride. Mr. Cashmen had participated in last year’s march as well.
As the time for the Pride got closer, the police escorted the Pride volunteers in a large group to the start of the march. Entering the roped off perimeter, participants were greated by the media, with cameras and video cameras everywhere. While we waited to begin, more and more people arrived. The great turnout was helped by the weather, despite threatening to be rainy all week, surprisingly the rain held off. This helped the number in attendance to pass the 500-600 originally expected
Around 5pm the event started, with a huge mass of people walking from Lover’s bridge to Vassil Lovski Blvd. A large float led the he march, with dancers and a DJ playing music. The 300 police present provided security for the march, and prevented any disruptions. Taking part, I didn’t notice anyone protesting … the only thing was a lone egg thrown from an apartment that landed on the ground a little to close for comfort from my foot.
The Pride march ended at a nearby park several blocks away. There was much celebration, music, and waving of Pride flags. As well as strong hopes that next years’ Pride march would have double the amount of supporters.
The last Saturday in June has long been remembered as the start of the Stonewall riots, and a turning point for the Gay Rights movement. While it is great to think of how many Pride parades and marches have been able to take place since this event, including Sofia’s Pride, it also makes one consider all the places where public displays of pride are still illegal. I have to say it was distressing to return from Sofia Pride, only to read about the arrests in Saint Petersburg, Russia – where not only were five of the activists arrested, but so was a group of skin heads that had showed up with box cutters. Unfortunately, the world is still rife with homophobia, but at least I’d like to hope things are getting/will get better.
Here are some pictures from the week leading up to Sofia Pride.
Sign making time …
The Pride march will be tomorrow!
While the WWP project is in Sofia, Bulgaria, this weekend for the pride march, we will unfortunately be missing St. Petersburg Pride in Russia, the city’s first. Like Moscow pride, this event has been banned by the government and under threat from national extremists. In addition, no foreign consulates have showed any support against the human rights violations taking place.
Despites threats of violence the pride march will stake place this Saturday, June 26.
Please know, Our thoughts are with you, and we hope for a safe Pride!
The organizers of the Pride are currently collecting signatures for an open letter to the the Government Representatives of the Russian Federation –