July 22, 2023 -In Amsterdam, several thousand people took part in the annual Pride Walk, a demonstration for equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people worldwide. The walk, which takes place for the 11th time, kicks off the first week of Queer & Pride in the capital.
The activists gathered at Dam Square around noon. There, speeches were held and music was played. At 1 p.m. the procession started moving towards Museumplein. After the Pride Walk,a mini-festival called “Queer Fest” will take place on Museumplein from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., AT5 reported. More than 30 different stalls will be present and various sports activities will be organized.
Participants in the procession carried rainbow and progress flags, representing even more diversity in the rainbow community. They also carried protest signs and banners with texts such as “The future is queer,” “Everyone has the same rights,” “Love is love,” “Pride is protest” and “Why is sex education never for us?”
The theme of the first Queer Week is “By Queers for Queers” and is dedicated to “advancing equality, combating inequality of opportunity, and strengthening the social and economic position of all people who identify as LGBTQIA+.” Numerous events will take place until Friday, July 28, including queer film nights, conferences, as well as parties.
Incidentally, the Zero Flags Project did not run with the Pride Walk this year either but can be seen as an exhibition on the Museumplein. For years, this initiative has been drawing attention to human rights violations by displaying the flags of countries where homosexuality is punishable. This year, there are 67, and the project will continue until there are no more flags.
Due to disagreement over one of the flags displayed, the Palestinian flag, the project has not participated in the demonstration since last year. The organizers of the protest march pointed out in a manifesto at the time that “the freedom of a particular group cannot be celebrated if it comes at the expense of the freedom of other groups,” and said they were in solidarity with people in the occupied territories, such as Palestine.
The organizers of the Pride Walk, Queer Amsterdam, stressed in advance that participants do not have to be queer to take part in the Pride Walk. Anyone who supports the struggle of the rainbow community and “shares the same values and supports the same points” is welcome.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times