Participants in the Budapest Pride march. (Pic:UK Gay News)
Budapest Pride went ahead without any serious incidents this weekend, thanks to a significant police presence in the Hungarian capital.
According to UK Gay News, more than 2,000 people took part in Budapest’s “Gay Dignity” march on an unexpectedly sunny Saturday despite threats of violent opposition and forecasts of rain.
Neo-Nazi’s and other extreme right-wing groups had threatened to disrupt the march but were kept at least 100 metres away from the matchers by a cordon around the parade route. However, this also meant that there were no significant amounts of onlookers
A strong police presence.(Pic:UK Gay News)
In 2007 and 2008, the event was marred by protestors throwing eggs, faeces and even petrol bombs at participants.
“The reason we are here today is to let you know that you are not alone in your struggle for equality and respect… and your struggle against violence and intimidation,” Juris Lavrikovs, a representative of the International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe, told the marchers.
“Let’s march with pride, dignity and determination. Let’s show Hungary and the whole of Europe that violence, threats and intimidation will not defeat us,” he said.
According to the Budapest police, 41 people were detained for various reasons including violence against officers, endangering public safety and carrying explosive materials during the parade.
Thirteen countries’ embassies, including South Africa’s, expressed their support for Budapest Gay Pride ahead of the event.