Alternative protest held alongside Pride parade in Dublin
LGBT+ revellers took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday (June 29) to celebrate Pride. However, an alternative Pride also took place as a protest to the main event.
According to local reports, thousands of people took part in the celebration as Ireland and the rest of Europe bathed in sunshine and record-breaking temperatures.
This year’s theme — dubbed the Rainbow Revolution — aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City.
Among the marchers were more than 600 civil and public service employees from government departments, An Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service, the Courts Service, and the National Museum of Ireland.
In 1983 in Dublin took a place the first large scale march LGBTQ + rights. This year, the parade went exactly the same route e starts on O’Connell Street, turns on to Eden Quay and passes Liberty Hall.
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Elsewhere around 150 gathered on Rosie Hackett Bridge to take place in an “alternative Pride,” protesting the corporatisation of the main event as well as the uniformed Garda (members of the Republic of Ireland police service) in the parade.
A spokesman for Queer Action Ireland, who organised the event, told the Irish Times that the group “could no longer in good conscience march” when they found out the Garda would be marching.
“The gardaí have a longstanding tradition of enforcing unjust laws on the LGBT community,” he said. “So we made the decision to withdraw from the parade and set up what we feel is a space for an alternative Pride that can recapture the spirit of Pride.”
He also commented on the presence of big business at the Pride parade, saying, “There are more than 100 corporations taking part this year,” he said.
“We feel that it is taking the attention away from the spirit of Pride and the issues that need attention. Obviously it’s amazing that society has changed, but what we want to do is celebrate the people who have brought that change about.”
Drew Harris, the Garda Commissioner, said he understood why some members of the LGBT+ community were not happy with the force’s involvement.