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Berlin: Thousands Take Part in Christopher Street Day Marches

The LGBTI community and its supporters took part in several marches on Saturday. All participants were going to meet at Alexanderplatz, one of Berlin’s largest squares. Because of Corona, this year’s CSD events are somewhat different.

Berlin, June 26th, 2021. Update: June 28th, 2021, 07:34 a.m. CEDT (The Berlin Spectator) — From three directions, just as many Christopher Street Day (CSD) marches moved towards Berlin’s city center on Saturday. They commenced in the Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg boroughs. In the late afternoon, all three marches were going to unite at Alexanderplatz square in the city’s eastern center. Because of Corona, the organizers changed the usual procedure. They wanted to make sure not too many people gathered at the same location all the time.

Back on the Streets

The three marches were separated into subjects. There was an ‘East Pride March’ which was supposed to look into the history of the LGBTI minority in the communist GDR. Feminism and the fight against racism were the subjects the second march dealt with. It was entitled ‘QTIBIPOC United’. The third CSD march was supposed to raise awareness about the difficult situation in the community, because of Corona.

The participants in Neukölln were in a good mood. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

In 2020, all large CSD events were cancelled due to the pandemic. Until 2019, tens of thousands of people used to take part in Berlin’s regular CSD parade. Of course, the CSD is always a party which involves music, dancing, colors and a good mood. At the same time it is a protest for a diverse and tolerant society with equal rights for all, including lesbians and gays as well as intersexual and transsexual persons. In Germany, this minority has fought for its rights for a long time. Only four years ago, gay marriage was legalized in the Federal Republic.

Victor Orbán Criticized

At Hermannplatz in Neukölln, up to 5,000 participants of one of the marches were supposed to gather in the early afternoon. The police shut down Hasenheide street for the growing crowd. Drag queens in shiny clothes were part of the event. Two of them turned out to be the main DJs. Their music players, amplifiers and giant loudspeakers were installed on a truck which started moving slowly after 1:00 p.m.. Hundreds of members of the LGBTI community, as well as its supporters and friends, followed the truck on a hot and sunny day.

The police did a good job protecting the CSD marches. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

It did not take long until the participants started dancing to the beats. Some held signs. One said “Protection for Queers now!”, another criticized Hungary’s President Victor Orbán for his country’s policies. Rainbow flags were visible all over the place. Germany’s LGBTI community does not have to hide. Elsewhere in the European Union, for instance in Bulgaria, its members are being discriminated badly.

Solidarity in Berlin

The city state of Berlin shows solidarity on a regular basis. Earlier this month, Governing Mayor Michael Müller and some of his Senators raised rainbow flags in front of Red City Hall. Berlin’s police chief Barbara Slowik was going to hoist the flag on Monday morning. Another CSD protest is scheduled to take place on July 24th, 2021, in Berlin.

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