Over two million people took part in Sao Paulo’s Pride parade on Saturday while Pride marchers were stoned in Romania and Moscow Pride’s organisers were fined.
Organisers of Saturday’s 11th annual Sao Paulo Pride – recognised as not only the largest Pride event in Brazil, but in the world – said that they expected this year’s tally of participants and bystanders to come close to three million people. Two and a half million took part in the parade last year.
The carnival-like march wound its way along the city’s skyscraper-lined avenues, with pounding dance music and marchers on foot and on floats waving rainbow flags. The parade saw the country’s ministers for tourism and sport taking part for the first time.
“We want to address machismo, racism and homophobia […] which still exists in Brazil,” the organiser of the parade, Nelson Matias Pereira, told the BBC.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s Pride parade in Bucharest, the capitol of Romania, was met by protesters who threw stones and fireworks at the approximately 400 participants.
Police said that around 100 people had been arrested for attacking the marchers. Officers also made use of teargas to disperse the protestors. Earlier in the week two men leaving a gay film festival were rescued by police after they were bashed by eight attackers, who were then arrested.
In Moscow, Nikolay Alexeyev and Nikolay Khramov, organisers of the city’s May 27 Pride parade have each been fined $2000 rubles, about R600, for holding the event without a permit and for resisting arrest.
The march degenerated into violence when right-wing protesters attacked the participants. Organisers claim that the police stood by while they were beaten. The city had earlier refused to grant the event a license to go ahead.
Before the sentence was passed, Alexeyev walked out of the courtroom in protest and called the hearing a “farce”. He and Khramov are expected to appeal the verdict.