Anti-Occupation LGBTQ Activists Crash Tel Aviv's Annual Pride Parade

During the 19th annual Tel Aviv pride parade, a group of LGBTQ activists blocked the march with anti-occupation signs, sparking police action.

During the 19th annual pride parade in Tel Aviv, Israel, several Israeli LGBTQ activists used the opportunity to send a very important message to participants.

With signs that read “There's no pride in occupation,” dozens of activists blocked the pride parade for a few minutes. This move prevented the march from being carried on, but police promptly responded, forcing activists onto the sidewalk.

As officers intervened, reports, Likud party and “Likud Pride” members participating in the parade shouted and shoved activists.

Many participants took interest in the message delivered by the anti-occupation activists. Others said they were disappointed that the activists were mixing politics with the event.

According to Tanya Rubinstein, general coordinator at Coalition of Women for Peace and a queer activist who was at the event, activists blocked the march to “remind everyone that the LGBTQ community’s struggle is part of a larger struggle for freedom and human rights, and we cannot disconnect it from the struggle against separation walls and the continuing, systematic oppression of the occupation.”

Saying that the parade belongs “to those who struggle for their rights,” Rubinstein explained that activists found it to be the perfect place for the demonstration.

At least 100,000 people were in attendance.

The week before the parade, hundreds of Israel's LGBTQ community members, such as Amnesty International Israel's Yonathan Gher, signed a declaration urging others to remember that their struggle is a fight for human rights, equality, and freedom.

“We will continue to oppose injustice everywhere, and to point out the connection between Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights and its discrimination against other communities,” they wrote.

“We are here to stay, and we will continue to tell our community: End the occupation, end the repression and end the discrimination. We all deserve a better future,” the members concluded.

While the response wasn't as welcoming as the activists may have hoped, it's important that they made their voices heard. As the active military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank has reached its 50th anniversary, this was the perfect moment to raise awareness.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters 

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