Photos: #UntilWeAreAllFree Rīga/Kyiv march for freedom

Until we are all free: this and similar slogans were chanted through Rīga streets on June 18 during the grand finale of the Rīga Pride week. The pride march this year took place in cooperation with Kyiv Pride, putting solidarity before enjoyment.

The colorful pride gear was accompanied by people dressed in Ukrainian flags, and poster slogans also showed support for Ukraine and calls to end the war. This year, emphasis was placed not only on the rights of LGBTQ+ people, but the freedom and equality of all people.

Attendees addressed by LSM said they had different reasons for coming. 

"Because I stand for all people."

"The more people like me – a mother of two children, heterosexual [come] – the harder it is to put a label on the pride."

"We are a fish and reptile rescue. We are staffed by two people, and we both belong to this community."

"To ask that the civil union law be passed soon."

Political and non-political organizations were also seen among the participants. Left-of-center political party 'Progressives' and 'Development/For!' representatives attended, as well as various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Board member of Latvian National youth council, Anna Norvele, told LSM: "There can often be problems within youth organizations themselves regarding inclusivity. We are here to show that we stand for everyone, for all youth, not just the 'right' youth."

LGBT+ and ally association Mozaīka, one of the main organizers of the event, could not give exact numbers regarding attendees yet, but said that there were 'certainly more people than before the pandemic.' 

The march route went along Rīga main streets, and traffic was closed during the event. State Police coordinated public order. As usual in pride events, some anti-LGBT protesters stood along the sides of the route, including politicians, but they were few and no conflict occurred. According to police estimates, around 5000 people took part, not counting bypassers. One person was detained for disturbances, according to the police. 

Vērmanes Garden, the central location of the event, will be closed off for non-participants until the evening as concerts and festivities continue.

 

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