Following the recent arrest of lesbian and gay people at a post-Pride party in Vosloorus, LGBT activists will be staging a protest march.

The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (LGEP), the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), the 1 in 9 Campaign and community members are to take part in the march in Vosloorus on 28 October.

Themed “Police as partners NOT perpetrators“ the protest aims to “challenge the growing homophobia at the hands of the police, the attacks against freedom of association and the rights of the media to report on these experiences”.

On October 3rd, 12 people were arrested at a house party in Vosloorus in the early morning after the Joburg Pride celebrations, apparently following complaints about loud music from neighbours.

It has been alleged that police used pepper spray, made anti-gay comments and that one of the police officers wielded a knife. Charges against the 12 were dropped just three days after their arrest.

Activists also claim that following the Ekurhuleni Pride March last year, eight lesbians reported being attacked by the police because of their sexual orientation, a matter still under investigation.

The groups further allege that on the Heritage Day weekend this year, five lesbians and gay men, who asked the police for directions to the Soweto Pride after-party in Kliptown, were held hostage, verbally abused and driven around for hours.

“While the cases at the Vosloorus police station have been violent and have been highlighted recently, police brutality in general is a major concern,” said the organisations in a joint statement.

The march will begin at the Vosloorus Stadium at 9am and will then proceed to the Vosloorus Police station.

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