Gay-rights activists in Cuba held an unauthorized pride march on Saturday in Havana that was sadly stopped by the police despite initially having it allowed, according to Global News.
Because the organizers of the march never received a permit, the event, by definition, was unauthorized but police and state-security agents allowed it to proceed. People from various social platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp organized the march after they noticed that the gay-rights organization, the Center for Sex Education canceled their Saturday march. After getting permission even without a permit, activists proceeded with the march. However, some activists mentioned that the police tried to prevent them from leaving their houses “with threats of unspecified repercussions.”
Even though they were threatened, over one-hundred activists took to the streets and chanted “It could be done!”
and “Diverse Cuba! while waving rainbow flags. This is definitely courageous, as Reuters reports that such an event would be faced with significant opposition from Cuba’s communist government. While some activists were arrested during the march, others are marking it as a success. Maykel Gonzalez Vivero, a journalist and LGBTQ activist called it “a before and an after for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community but also for Cuban civil society more generally.” He also mentioned that civil society is strong by standing up or LGBTQ people by taking their support to the streets. This is definitely one of the better ways to affect change, as this type of demonstration is victimless and a great way to get representation.
Even though there were arrests made during the march, it is nice to know that people are still hopeful that LGBTQ rights will advance in Cuba. It is great that so many people came out in support of LGBTQ rights in a country that removed the suggestion of same-sex marriage from their draft constitution. That aside, I think that Cubans are definitely taking steps in the right direction.