Over the weekend, a small group of LGBT/ally activists in Moscow were bashed by the police who should have protected them (click here). Such occurances are not rare in Eastern Europe, where homophobia is rampant and often serves as a recruiting tool for Neo-Nazi and other right wing groups. Before 2007, the annual Budapest Pride celebration, one of the largest in in the region, escaped such violent opposition. However, that has changed and right wing extremists seem to be succeeding in their attempt to terrorize LGBT folks and businesses who in past years have would have joyously participated in Pride.
Donations are needed, but online and, for the brave at heart, in-person support is just as important as it can pressure authorities to protect marchers. I am posting this at the behest of friends in Hungary. The statement is directly from them, with no editing on my part. Please re-post, spread to your email lists, etc.
Dear Activists, Gay Pride Organizers, Visitors, Friends,
We are the Rainbow Mission Foundation, the organizers of the 14th LGBT Festival in Budapest, Hungary, from 5 to 12 July, 2009.
Our website: www.budapestpride.hu
You may have heard that in the last two years Budapest Gay Pride March was attacked by extremists who threw eggs, stones, glasses and verbal insults on the participants. While the Parliament endorsed the act on registered partnership for same-sex couples, which is an important step towards legal equality, radical groups that are acting in an aggressive and intolerant manner against LGBT people (gay bashings, molotov cocktail attacks against gay bars etc.) are becoming stronger and stronger.
In this situation, many gay people are against the pride (the majority of gay enterpreneurs refuse to support the pride any longer). However, we believe that this is the moment when we really must stand up for ourselves. We would like to find as many local and international organizations, groups and people who express solidarity with Hungarian LGBT people as possible. This is why we are reaching out to you. We would like to ask you to express your solidarity with the Gay Pride March and the one-week long cultural festival before. There are several possibilities:
If you and/or some members of your organization could come and be present at the Pride March, that would be an important gesture of support for us. You are all warmly welcome!
Please advertise Budapest LGBT Festival and the Pride March on your website.
Please distribute and put on your website the text below in your own language.
Thank you for your help!
If we can reciprocate your solidarity and help in any way, please let us know!
Rainbow Mission Foundation
CALL FOR SUPPORT
Take solidarity with the 14th Budapest Pride! In the past two years the gay festival and pride march suffered atrocities. The organizers are asking for your help. How can you express your solidarity?
1. Come visit Budapest! Let us be a huge crowd! Express your solidarity in person! We warmly welcome everyone at the 14th Budapest Gay Festival (a film and cultural festival) from 5 to 12 July, and especially at the Gay Pride March from 3 pm on 11th, Saturday.
2. Send us a video message! Make a few seconds long video message with camera, skype, etc., which contains the phrase ‘Budapest Pride’ and says that you will be there in person or support us in spirit. We are making a similar spot with Hungarian participants; you can join this project with your video message.
3. Support Budapest LGBT Festival! As we haven’t found enough sponsors, the sustainability of the festival has become endangered. We need a minimum of 10 000 Euros to organize our festival. If there are 500 people to offer 20 Euros each, we will be able to stage the festival. We are happy to receive donations of any size. Donations are easy to send through the PayPal system on our website: http://www.budapestpride.hu/00.html