A pared-down LGBT Pride march drew thousands of people to the streets of Paris yesterday, without the colourful trucks blasting out techno music but with powerful slogans demanding racial equality and protesting against police violence.
Paris official Pride parade was postponed to November because of the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers yesterday decided to hold a march, which, according to them, was meant to be politically driven and in support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
“Because of Coronavirus, the normal Pride parade had to be cancelled, but we managed to organise a Pride that is more political,” a drag king and illustrator who gave her name as Saint Eugene explained to the media.
People who joined the march, who also chanted slogans such as “Everyone hates the police”, made their way peacefully from the Moulin Rouge cabaret in the Pigalle neighbourhood to Place de la Republique on the city’s Right Bank, many of them wearing face masks.
Some waved “Black Lives Matter” placards in support of protests awakened by the brutal murder of George Floyd, a Black man whose death in police custody in Minneapolis in the United States triggered worldwide protests.
According to the European Pride Organisers Association, more than 200 LGBT rights marches have been postponed or cancelled due to the spread of the current pandemic. The organisation also estimated that up to 22 million people attend at least one Pride in Europe annually.
“It’s not just a month of Pride, we have to fight every single day, it’s a daily battle to get across a message around the world,” explained teacher Ahmed Madkouri.