This year’s Pride Parade in Budapest was calm and rather boring, as fewer people showed up compared to the previous year. Indeed, Pride Parade 2008 was rather violent with neo-nazis and average observers, apparently homophobes, throwing eggs, tomatoes and bottles into the participants of Pride Parade 2008.
>> By the way, this violence is caused by the government headed by ex-prime minister Gyrcsany as before 2007 and 2008 the Pride Parade was peaceful and boring for the media. <<
The only positive thing about 2008 Pride was high attention of the media and increased security (Not all cops are bastards after all) this year. Not only Andrassy avenue, where the Parade took place this year, but also parallel streets were closed and surrounded by fences. Basically, a big part of central Budapest including metro was closed.
>> The right to free assembly is a basic constitutional right. But in gulyas democracy of Hungary this right has to be protected by hundreds of policemen and rows of fences. <<
Crowds of people were to be observed outside the fences, apparently not as many as previous year. Moreover, this day was a football match between Hungary and Sweden and most probably most hooligans were already at the stadium by the end of the Parade. The Parade participants turned out to be hard nuts for those willing to attack them, as police was escorting them even after the end of the Parade at Deak sq. and Blaha Lujza sq., as all the participants were recommended to go to Blaha Lujza by metro.
This decision was based on previous year’s accident when at the end of Pride Parade it turned out that the participants were trapped because most of neo-nazis gathered at the end point of the Pride 2008, Heroes’ sq.
To the Pride 2009 itself: there were a number of groups and individual people from both Hungary and abroad. The opening speeches were delivered by Juris Lavrikovs, Paata Sabelashvili (ILGA Europe) who welcomed the participants and shared tehir thoughts of the importance of the Pride. There were two cars with sound systems, a froup of people carrying a rainbow flag, and a number of smaller groups including Amnesty-Hungary (the yellow group) and the pink-black bloc.
Overall, it was just another good opportunity for queer people to claim for their right for equality and for their supporters to express their solidarity. Hopefully, the peacefulness of Pride Parade 2009 will become a good tradition and the tolerance in Hungarian society to queer people will grow to the level that no fences will be needed in the future.
Long Live Pride Parade in Budapest!