Pride march ends in violence as gang steal LGBTQ+ flag and attack crowd
A Pride event in Karlsruhe, Germany descended into chaos after 30 men violently attacked the crowd and set an LGBTQ+ flag ablaze.
The incident occurred on Saturday (4 June) when the group ganged up on the flag carrier and began to hurl a barrage of insults and hate speech, as reported by Queer.de.
Members of the crown attempted to help the person being attacked, but were in turn attacked themselves. People reported that they were pulled by their hair, kicked, brought to the ground and further beaten.
The attackers then proceeded to steal the flag and burn it. The person carrying the flag sustained several minor injuries and was transported to the hospital.
Karlsruhe police have opened an investigation into the incident, but have been accused of failing to prevent the attack and of reacting “inappropriately”.
An eyewitness at the event alleged that the police let the group of men “run on without being checked.”
German journalist Amelia Brandt wrote on Twitter: “The police who were called reacted to the situation in an extremely inappropriate way.”
She added: “Despite a police presence of at least 10 vans, only 9 police officers got out and took care of those affected.”
— Armilla Brandt (@armillabrandt) June 6, 2022
Brandt also alleged that the those who were injured and attended to by emergency services were met with anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments.
Criminal police are now investigating. A statement released on Monday (6 June) said: “Police headquarters in Karlsruhe have received allegations from various quarters that investigations were not carried out on site and subsequently not with the required intensity.”
The LGBTQ+ spokesperson for Germany’s ruling SPD party, Florian Wahl, said: “Our sympathy goes to the victims of this attack. But anti-queer attacks are increasing across Germany, and we have to take decisive action against them.”
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Wahl said that allegations made about the Karlsruhe police would be investigated. He said: “An anti-queer attack is not a simple brawl… but an attack on the existence of the victim. The state government must ensure that the police recognize anti-queer attacks, call them by name and act appropriately and sensitively.”
Hate crimes continue to be a concern for the LGBTQ+ community in Germany. Reuters reported that violence against queer people increased by 36 per cent in 2020.
Markus Ulrich, a spokesperson for Germany’s biggest LGBTQ+ group LSVD, told Reuters at the time: “Hate crimes against queer people have been on the rise in the past three or four years.”
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Germany since 2017 and a Pew Research survey found that 86 per cent of Germans think homosexuality should be accepted.