cautious optimism

Is ‘Not Getting Blown Up’ a Reason to Celebrate Budapest’s Gay Pride?

budapestpride

Yes, if you remember what happened at last year’s gay pride march in Budapest (and other attacks there), where explosives were thrown at marchers leaving 10 people injured and 45 arrested.

Except during this year’s celebration yesterday, with a crowd increase from 450 to 2,000, the neo-Nazis were kept at bay with the help of the police. Last year, they marched alongside LGBTs in a brilliant spectacle of idiotic planning. But to keep things secure, on-lookers were also banned from the “Gay Dignity” path within a 1-block permiter, leaving spectators forced to tune in on TV rather than gather alongside the route. Perhaps a decent temporary trade-off, helped by “considerable” news coverage.

Not that things went down without incident:

Hungarian riot police deployed tear gas and baton charges Saturday against the vociferously xenophobic crowd as it tried to disrupt Hungary’s annual Gay Pride parade.

More than 30 arrests were made on charges including possession of offensive weapons and riotous behavior. Heightened surveillance was enforced throughout the day to prevent a recurrence of the mayhem that ended last year‘s parade, in which there were more than a dozen serious injuries, according to Éva Tafferner, press officer at Budapest police headquarters.

The rioters invaded the heart of the traditional Jewish Ghetto District, started a small fire, tore down signs and shouted threatening anti-Semitic vitriol. The attacks were witnessed by families of foreign Jews visiting the district for the current Budapest Jewish Cultural Festival.