As many as 60,000 people participate in Prague Pride parade
Yesterday the rainbow parade of pride in being a sexual minority made it to the Letná Plain in the Czech capital of Prague. The first participants arrived around 14:15 and thousands more arrived roughly within the next hour to attend the event.
The parade was accompanied by music, dancing, cheering and applause and many passers-by stopped to watch it. The musical program at Letná lasted until the evening.
Police estimate as many as 60,000 people participated in the march. Their estimate of 30,000 people at the start of the event increased after more groups joined the parade at different points as it moved through the city.
As of yesterday evening, Prague Police spokesperson Jan Rybanský told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) that the event had taken place without any complications or incidents. "We did not record any disruptions of public order or other problems," he said.
The parade traveled from Wenceslas Square through the Old Town Square, where tourists photographed the participants. According to a ČTK reporter on the scene, an atmosphere of calm prevailed the entire time and protests against the event were minor.
Rainbow flags of all sizes were chiefly used to adorn the parade, whether painted on people's faces or as big flags that people wrapped around themselves. Such flags were once used as a pacifist symbol, but during the 1970s they became perceived as a gay and lesbian symbol that then became universal.
In the decades since, the rainbow flag has established itself as a generally-known, accepted symbol of the LGBT movement. Many marchers in Prague yesterday were wearing flower garlands around their necks in the colors of the rainbow, as well as carrying paper flowers or balloons, and some people came in costume.
The march was attended by people of different generations, including parents with their children. At the Charles University Faculty of Law, which provided a balcony to the organizers from which people could greet the parade and observe it, other participants joined the march.
One participant, Sebastian, who is from Prague, told ČTK it was his second time participating. "What I love about it is the... community of these people. That's because these people are fine, the atmosphere is relaxed. [...] We're all cool, we're having fun, it's all good," he said.
Another participant, Eliška, also highlighted the event's positive energy. "This is fighting for the right thing," she pointed out.
Refreshments were available at Letná for those who participated in the parade, with a program of music and other events on six stages both in the Letná Orchards and on Letná Plain. Some of the bands performing were, for example, Girli, Tom Auspaul and We Are Domi.
The rainbow parade of people expressing support and tolerance for sexual minorities and their right to self-determination was the culmination of a week-long festival of the pride felt by lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and queer people (LGBT+), Prague Pride. The Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, was in the front rows of the march with his wife.
This year the rainbow parade did not feature floats, a decision organizers said was taken to make the event sustainable. As they made their way down Na Příkopě Street, those participating encountered several men handing out Bible quotations and speaking of the parade as a sin.
The marchers did not respond to those protesting against them. Yesterday was the first time the parade had been held since 2019 after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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