Kudos to our brothers and sisters in Kiev, Ukraine for pushing forward and kudos to the government and police for their support!
A gay pride parade in Ukraine was attacked by protesters today, leaving a number of marchers and policemen injured. Opponents of the event, held in Kiev, threw smoke bombs and tear gas, with reports claiming that five officers were injured by the unknown assailants. The Interfac news agency added that a small number of the estimated 300 marchers were also injured. – attitude.co.uk
Most likely there would have been more than the 300 participants if there was a sense of peace and nonviolence in the air. To compare, the population of Kiev is 2.8 million. Austin, Texas has a population of 885,000. When I attended Austin's Pride Parade last September, it went on for more than 3 hours. Apple alone had 3,000+ parade participants. No matter how backwards Texas is from the rest of the United States, it's leaps and bounds ahead of other locales.
I've been all over and the most noticeable anti-gay protests have always been on Bourbon Street in New Orleans during Southern Decadence. There has been some violence in the past in NOLA during the Labor Day weekend celebration, but nothing to match what paraders experienced in Kiev.
Some of the protestors attempted to break through a cordon formed by riot police to separate the two groups. Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadskyi had warned yesterday: “There will be thousands of us. Gay propaganda is destructive and doing harm to our Christian nation, we can’t allow that.” – attitude.co.uk
As mentioned in my previous blog this week, "Will Seoul have a Pride Parade this year? Is it our Fault if they don't?", we have it pretty good here in the US compared to our brothers and sisters in other nations. The major difference between Seoul and Kiev is that this year's parade in Seoul has been canceled. The Pride Parade in Kiev was allowed to occur this year even with the threat of violence and the police were there to protect, but that wasn't always the case. And even this year, many called for it's cancelation.
The first gay pride parade was staged in Ukraine in 2013, with strong protection for those involved after the 2012 event was cancelled. The city’s Vitaly Klitschko had called on organisers to cancel the event to “avoid confrontation”. Ukrainian lawmaker and journalist Serhiy Leshchenko praised police on Twitter for preventing “direct clashes” between the groups, and said about 25-30 “radicals” had been arrested. – attitude.co.uk
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on June 5 that he would ensure the safety of participants in the march after members of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector group vowed to cause disruptions. – uknews.yahoo.com
When I watched the video below, I actually teared up a little bit. You'll see the police presence protecting marchers, it was sad to see they were needed, but see how many were there! Supposedly there were 300 marchers, but are there more police than that? There is some violence, some tear gas being thrown by protesters, and you will see one cop bleeding from a severe neck injury. You will also see Montreal represented in the parade. Way to go Canada!
What will be the aftermath from this year's parade? Will it show that the nation is not ready and future parades will not occur? Will it show others that the government / police are there to protect the parade participants and that will be the policy from now on? It may take us a full year to find answers. Kiev, we wish you well and we will be keeping our eyes on Seoul later this month to see what may occur there.
Have you seen violent protests during pride celebrations?
Have you been personally involved?