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 parade
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
It was clear from the beginning that London Pride would be a different experience than most of the Prides we’ve documented so far in the ‘Walk with Pride’ Project. Thousands of people are expected to participate in the Pride, with several hundred of thousands more coming to watch.
We arrived 3 hours early and the preparations were already in full swing. Buses lined Baker Street, and the work of ‘glamming’ them had started. People walked around in crazy outfits, free to wear how much or how little they’d like. While London Pride does have a big festive party atmosphere feel, there is another side that concerns rights and social issues. There were many organizations present supporting different social projects, and groups raising awareness concerning the troubles face by LGBT communities in Africa and the Middle East. Chad’s photos fro this Pride try to show this contrast, as he switches between portraits of those in costume, and those promoting social issues. It’s something a little different, but we hope you Enjoy …!
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!
On Sunday night we left Zagreb by train headed first to Belgrade, Serbia, and then by connecting train to Sofia, Bulgaria. Going by train was a change of pace from all the flying we’ve been doing recently, but fifteen hours on a train seemed rather grueling by the end. Anyway, now we’re in Sofia to document the project’s 11th Pride. Like most place in Eastern Europe it is not very easy to hold a Pride event here, which makes getting to know the people who do organize these events all the more interesting.
We didn’t have much time to settle into Sofia as about an hour after the train arrived we were due to attend a press briefing to officially start the week of Sofia Pride. One of the organizers of this year’s pride is Marko, who we’d had a chance to meet during Athens Pride (and the regional solidarity conference held beforehand). In addition to the press briefing, Marko informed us that they were also opening a photo exhibit that night showing images from past Sofia Prides.
The history of Sofia Pride is still relatively young. The first Pride took place in 2008 with about 150 participants, but also with strong opposition from local far-right wing groups. During the event Molotov cocktails were thrown, and 88 protestors were arrested. The second Pride, 2009, faired better with 300 pro-LGBT participants, support of dozen of foreign embassies, and no violence. This year will be the third Pride March, and it has the theme of “Love equality, embrace diversity”
Here’s some a video/pics of the past marches:
As you’ll notice in 2009 Pride participants were given hard hats to wear!
Sofia Pride 2009:
Sofia Pride 2008:
New Gallery uploaded on the main “Walk with Pride” website featuring images from Zagreb Pride 2010!
(Zagreb Pride 2010)
AND keep following as this week the WWP project documents Sofia Pride in Bulgaria.
Zagreb Pride was energetic and colorful, with over 500 participants in attendance. While outrageous costumes are not the norm for this pride, there were lots of rainbows and balloons to give the event a festive feel. The march route started at a large square in town – the “square of the victims of fascism”, and went along city street to Zagreb’s main square (where the anti-Pride march was taking place), before it headed South to end up in a big park – Park Ponosa.
With the sound of beating drums, whistles, and Pride cheers, the march proudly proceeded by watching bystanders toward Zagreb’s main square. Police in riot gear walked next to participants, forming a moving blockade around the group. The city had granted permission for members of the youth faction of a right-wing group to protest in the main square. Made up of around 60 teenagers and young adults, these anger filled youths yelled oaths and obscenities at the marchers. The police had wanted the march to go on the far South side of the square, behind the kiosks, and far away from the anti-gay protesters. However, the pride leaders refused and won the right to march proudly in the streets of Zagreb’s main square, instead of the far sidewalk. While the protesters were kept back by a metal barricade and a human barricade made up of police, there was still a defining moment during the pride when the two sides faced off.
When the Pride first reach the main square it halted, as the parade spread out so participants could look upon the haters. The marchers chanted and blew whistles, with several raising two fingers to display the peace sign. Those against the march, and the people in it, raised their fingers in a different gesture, shouted obscenities, and I saw one guy showing his dissatisfaction by unbuttoning his pants to flash marchers. This whole scene lasted only a few minutes, before the Pride started up again and continued down another block.
At this point some of the protestors tried to follow the Pride by making a dash through the inside of mall, but were stopped by police, with some being arrested. Caught on tape, there is a footage of one of these homophobic kids telling the police that if he is arrested his mother would kill him at home (a rough translation), at which point he was brutally kicked in the head. Note: The officials of Zagreb Pride have come out to condemn this action, labeling it as disgusting behavior.
At the fenced off park, the Pride ended with speeches and music. There was a release in tension as the march had successfully ended. Unfortunately, it also gave a false sense of security, as the whole thing isn’t really over, especially as the right-wing youths filled with aggression aren’t ready to give up and go home for the night.
At the park I had talked with a Bosnian girl who had grown up in San Francisco, she had left the park to go get some food with two Norwegian guys – tourists that hadn’t know about the Pride before, but had decided to join in. Later that night when we returned to the artist collective for the after party we saw her again, they had been attacked. Eleven young guys had jumped them from behind, punching and kicking all three. That same evening two other local participants of Zagreb Pride were attacked by young thugs who recognized them from the Pride. It such a shame that such a positive event is marred by violence, and the huge cowardice of these attacks.
However, I’d like to think not of the haters, but the several people I spoke with who were attending this as their first Pride after coming out, and how much participating in this event had really meant to them, and to all those there in support of pride.
Here are some more videos:
Anti – Pride
Pictures coming soon to our main website,
And, if you like our work, don’t forget to join us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/WWPproject