Tens of thousands take part in Pride Parade in Brussels

Tens of thousands of members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and sympathisers gathered in Brussels on Saturday afternoon for the 24th Belgian Pride Parade. Despite a generally festive atmosphere at the event that is designed to be a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and to promote LGBTQ+ rights in Belgium and across the world, police removed a number of participants from the parade. They are members of a group called “Reclaim the Pride” that is unhappy about the presence of representatives of political parties in the parade. They believe that this is hypocritical given what they see as a lack of measures taken by politicians to help the LGBTQ+ community. They were removed from the parade after they had brought it to a halt.       

At around 3:30pm part of the parade was brought to a halt after a group of protesters had blocked its route. The Brussels-Capital-Elsene Local Police Service Spokesman Olivier Slosse told VRT News that “A group of between 30 and 40 people brought part of the parade to a standstill, while another part of it was able to continue”.  

"In the meantime, the parade had set off again. We are identifying those involved to see what exactly their intentions are”. The press agency Belga reports that the protesters are from the action group Reclaim the Pride.  

The police surrounded the protesters and when some of them tried to escape the police cordon police officers used tear gas. This has been confirmed by the police spokesman Olivier Slosse.

24th Pride Parade

The of year’s 24th Pride Parade is “intersectionality”. By this the organisers hope to turn the spotlight on what they believe is an underexposed theme.   

One of the organisers of the Belgian Pride Jeroen Borgs explained "We are going to look at people from the gay, lesbian and trans community not with regard to their sexuality, but also all the other facets of their lives that could cause them issues: poverty, racism, living with a handicap etc.”