Antwerp Pride marked by threats and record attendance

Sunday, 12 August 2018 12:53
Antwerp Pride marked by threats and record attendance ©Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga
This year’s edition of Antwerp Pride, the 11th, attracted between 60,000 and 100,000 participants, according to organisers and police. But the event was marred by threats issued beforehand on Twitter, whose author was later arrested.
“I’m very pleased with the turnout,” declared Pride spokesperson Wilfried Eetezone. “We in the gay and transgender community have been organising a festival for everyone in Antwerp. We celebrate diversity, and reach out a hand to other communities. Everyone is welcome.”

And he recalled an incident in Ghent earlier in the week in which two men were attacked with a bicycle lock and seriously injured by a man and a woman. Both attackers were arrested, but the woman was later released.

“What happened in Ghent shows that it’s still important to fight for equal treatment of gays and transgenders,” Eetezone said.

The festivities started on Thursday, culminating in the parade on Saturday. Taking part were city dignitaries, delegations from other cities and even police officers in uniform, carrying placards which read #proudtobeyourfriend.

During the parade, a 39-year-old man taking part was assaulted by two gay-bashers. Meanwhile earlier in the week another man posted threatening messages on Twitter. When police visited him at his home, they found Nazi paraphernalia and a number of illegal knives. The man claimed he was protesting at the closure of city streets to allow the parade to take place.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times
Google Plus

More Stories

King Philippe meets Ali Baba founder Jack Ma

King Philippe meets Ali Baba founder Jack Ma

King Philippe of Belgium had a meeting with the founder of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Climate demonstrations: Ecolo calls for ‘green tickets’ at preferential rates

Climate demonstrations: Ecolo calls for ‘green tickets’ at preferential rates

Whilst successive climate demonstrations are taking place, both Ecolo and Groen are requesting that the SNCB once again offer ‘green tickets’, with a preferential 5-euro rate (for a return ticket), to demonstrators wishing to take part.

Strike announced for 13 February after salary negotiations collapse

Strike announced for 13 February after salary negotiations collapse

The country's three main trade unions – socialist, Christian and liberal – have issued a joint call for a general strike on 13 February, following the collapse of talks on pay with government and employers.