Main | Saturday, May 08, 2010

LITHUANIA: Fascists And Fire Bomb Disrupt Gay Pride But Parade Goes On

The headquarters of the organizers of Baltic Pride in Vilnius suffered a firebomb attempt last night, but Lithuania's first tiny gay parade went on under the protection of hundreds of soldiers and city police.
Opponents of Lithuania's first gay pride parade threw smoke bombs and tried to break through a barrier Saturday but were stopped by police firing tear gas. Later, protesters threw rocks and street signs at security forces, and two Lithuanian lawmakers were detained after trying to climb the barrier. About 400 people took part in the two-hour march — dubbed "For Equality" — in a sealed-off area in downtown Vilnius. Holding large rainbow flags and dancing to music blaring from loudspeakers, they walked along a road near the city's Neris river.

Participants included many foreigners, diplomats and members of the European Parliament. "We are here because we believe ... in a just society. Labels are for filing, for clothing, not for people. And we are here today to remove labels from people," said Birgitta Ohlsson, Sweden's minister for European Union affairs. Some 800 police, some on horses, were mobilized to provide security and keep at bay more than 1,000 demonstrators. Protesters carried crosses and signs and shouted insults at rally participants. A Catholic Mass at the nearby national cathedral was held to pray for homosexuals. "Sweden has already wiped out traditional families. Now they came over here to tell us how to live, how to think and who to sleep with. Lithuania will not allow such perversions," said Jonas Kempinskas, who walked from the Cathedral to the protest holding a huge cross.
Fascist groups lined the parade route with megaphones to hurl insults at the marchers. From the below clip's description:
When standing among the public watching the Parade my blood runs cold, listening to the conversations. My Lithuanian might still be limited, but the conversations are pretty clear. The most prevailing words are provocation and pederasts, and the presence of a fascist gang evokes emotions ranging from laughter to outright support. The group is not large, agreed, but they can roam about freely and are in no way hindered in expressing their views: Away with pederasts, away with Jews, away with occupants, with here and there a creative variety like Euro-pederasts. A banner shows the Prime Minister taking the mayor of Vilnius from behind undoubtedly he belongs to the category of Euro-pederasts. Fascists demonstrating freely in a city where the whole Jewish community of 80,000 inhabitants was murdered: it evokes some very special feelings. This is the European Union, this is an ancient cosmopolitan city with a rich and also painful pasts. But it is a city that clearly has not fully accepted European morals and values.
Next month when you complain about the commercialization of gay Pride and all those floats sponsored by banks, stop for a minute and consider what our brothers and sisters in Vilnuis endured today just to walk down their own streets as a proud openly gay people.

Labels: , , ,

comments powered by Disqus