Around 500 LGBTI people marched through the streets of Hillbrow and Braamfontein in Johannesburg on Saturday, demanding justice for all people.
The second People’s Pride was a festive political demonstration, filled with song, anger and moving performance pieces that spoke out against persecution, violence and exclusion.
The at-first small crowd gathered at Constitution Hill in the morning to prepare banners and signs with messages such as, “if you think gays are revolting, we are”, “self love, not self hate”, and “no one is illegal.”
As the gathering swelled under the hot sun, one of the organisers, Sekoetlane Phamodi, told the crowd that the country’s Constitution was not enough to protect ordinary LGBTI people, unless they can afford expensive court action.
“Can we eat a constitution?” he asked. “Can you hold a constitution up and he’ll stop beating you, can you hold up a constitution to your vagina and he’ll stop raping you?”
The team behind the march insist that the demand for LGBTI equality cannot be separated from the demand for equality for sex workers, Palestinians, immigrants, refugees and all other people.
“Things started off slowly, but it all came together, and it was a really powerful march,” said Phamodi.
He explained that one of the key aims of the event this year was to demand the extension of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign to “365 days of no violence against no bodies.”
After the march, the crowd was treated to more performance pieces, poetry and music into the afternoon.
People’s Pride was launched last year in response to unhappiness with the organisation of Johannesburg Pride and a belief that the event had lost its political and activist focus.
View our 2014 People’s Pride photo gallery here.