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Czech extremists abuse LGBT pride march in town of Plzeň but fail to block it

6.9.2017 9:27
Pilsen Pride 2 September 2017. (PHOTO:  Vít Hassan)
Pilsen Pride 2 September 2017. (PHOTO: Vít Hassan)

Approximately 500 people, most of them youths, attended the first-ever Pilsen Pride march in Plzeň, Czech Republic on Saturday 2 September 2017, an offshoot of the Prague Pride march celebrating sexual minorities. The event was attended by activists from the Green Party, religious members of the LGBT community belonging to the Logos organization, Romani LGBT persons, and Marie Ferina, a famous activist for the rights of the LGBT community.

Many marchers wore the symbol of the LGBT community, the rainbow flag. Approximately 70 extremists and ultra-right radicals protested against the march.

Some marchers carried signs reading "If we had a crown for every gender we would be rich!", "Don't change yourself, change society!", "LGBT Believers", "Queer No Fear", etc. After several opening speeches criticising homophobia and racism in society, the participants marched through the city.

Just before the march began, those participating were warned by one of the organizers that an assembly of homophobes was taking place nearby who were planning to vulgarly insult them and who would attempt to provoke conflict, but that the marchers should resist all such provocations at any cost. The protest action by those opposed to the march, which called itself the "Assembly of Citizens against the Promotion of Pedophilia and Other Perversions", was taking place about 300 meters away from the Pilsen Pride.

The protest event was attended by roughly 70 radicals from extremist, strictly ultra-right political parties. Among the speakers were representatives of the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) and the extremist National Democracy (ND).

Those attending the protest event held signs reading "What used to be a crime is now a point of pride and it's your fault!", "Do you want children? Have them but don't touch ours!", "You all want the right to 'happiness' to mean perversion", "What do you all give to society? HIV and perversity!", "In the name of destroying civilization, deviants of the world - unite!" Some participants also carried anti-Islam banners.

All of the speakers who addresed the protest said this would be the first and also the last time that an event of this type took place in Plzeň. Just before 15:00 the protesters attempted to blockade the pre-announced march.

Roughly 20 radicals shouted vulgaritiesat those marching. They were led by the vice-chair of the DSSS, Jiří Štěpánek, who did not like the fact that the march was being protected by police from the radicals and who shouted "Shame!", "Shame on the police!" at them.

Others shouted "Fags!", "Fuck off!" and "The police belong to the gays!". The mob of radicals also chanted the slogan "Normal Plzeň!" for several minutes.

The extremists were soon warned by police to disperse, which they immediately did and allowed the march to proceed. The marchers had to listen to much more spicy abuse being yelled at them as they continued along their route.

Vít Hassan, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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DSSS, Extremism, Lgbt, Plzeň


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