Saturday, June 26, 2010

Support Czech pride in Brno

On Saturday 26th June 2010, the 40th birthday weekend of PRIDE, Brno, the second city of the Czech Republic will host its 2nd PRIDE parade, known as the Queer Parade Brno. This parade is an opportunity for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans people to celebrate and call for equal human rights and dignity. Tabor Queer Pride 2009 passed off smoothly in a good atmosphere, but Brno Queer Parade 2008 was attacked by extreme nationalist groups and threats of violence have once again appeared on some of nationalist websites.

Brno Queer Parade 2010 starts at 1pm at Freedom Square (náměstí Svobody), and participants will hear speeches and other greetings on the stage. The parade itself should take off at 2pm through the streets of historic city centre. "We expect a high turnout" said Jolana Navrátilová for the organising team. "Security measures have been developed in close co-operation with the police and their special anti-conflict team. We believe that Brno Queer Parade 2010 wil l be a great success."

The European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT rights has videoed a message in support of this year's pride and its Czech member Zuzana Brzobohatá is supporting the event. Among other patrons are Džamila Stehlíková for Government Council for Human Rights (former Czech Minister for Human Rights & Minorities) and Martin Ander for Brno city officials. Guests from the international LGBTIQ scene, including the Swiss singer Bettina Schelker, and British lesbian, Clare Dimyon, organiser of the EU Commission Photo Exhibition: "Fall of the Wall" meets Stonewall, which took place recently in London.

Clare Dimyon was recently awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her "services to promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Central and Eastern Europe". Clare responded: "I am only a visitor to the PRIDE parades in Central and Eastern Europe. It is a great privilege to witness the determination of LGBT people (and their friends and families) to achieve their full human rights and dignity. This honour is really for them."

Sadly, there is not only support for the parade. Several counter-events are planned, among them the illegal gatherings of far right-wing groups. "They appeal to "decent" people, however the threats published on their websites are a disgrace. It gives us reason to be prepared for problems. However, we are confident that the police will protect our legal gathering and will not tolerate any disturbance. We believe it will be a victory for the rule of law and for tolerance", said another Queer Parade organiser, Mirek Zajdák.

After the parade, an Afterparty is planned in Semilasso club, with bands Like She, Tanec posledního dne, (The Dance of the Last Day), DJs and drag shows, and a TV Q-show speaker MC Barbara. The special guest of the pride opening, Bettina Schelker, will also perform. The organisers call for support and invite al l guests from over Europe to come to the Czech Republic for this third annual celebration of Czech PRIDE to participate in worldwide celebrations of the 40th birthday of PRIDE!

Contact: Jolana Navrátilová, tel. + 420 777 817 499, Miroslav Zajdák, tel. +420 724 266 833
Contact for UK: Clare Dimyon: +44 7954 578528 ;

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