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20 Pride March participants were arrested on the last week of Pride Month

20 Pride March participants were arrested on the last week of Pride Month

Pride is a worldwide celebration of our LGBTQ+ community. But people seem to forget that it’s a protest as well. Fifty-one years ago, transgender activists like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Miss Major paved way to pride celebrations we still cherish today.

Today, June 26, LGBTQ+ organization Bahaghari carried this 51-year-old tradition by holding a Pride Protest in Manila’s University Belt. But it ended on a bitter note when police arrested 20 participants.

 

Ten LGBTQ+ folks, eight allies and two drivers were detained at the Manila Police District Headquarters on UN Avenue. In a tweet, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines said that the police violently dispersed protestors while the Union of Journalists of the Philippines-UP confirmed that authorities haven’t given any information on what laws were violated.

According to the UP Office of Student Regent, protestors were peacefully marching while practicing social distancing. Bahaghari National spokesperson Rey Valmores-Salinas said they asked the officers for their names as well as their violations but didn’t get a coherent response. 

 

“Ayaw nilang sabihin ang kanilang mga pangalan. Wala silang sinasabing violations na aming nilabag, kasi wala silang masasabing violations na nailabag. Ngayon, dinampot po kami dito. Bente po kami dito na iligal na inaresto,” said Valmores-Salinas. “These pigs don’t know what case to file against us because we violated nothing,” tweeted Bahaghari.  

 

According to Bahaghari’s tweet, Cong. Sarah Elago of Kabataan Partylist, Cong. Eufemia Cullamat of Bayan Muna and Atty. Fudge Tajar went to the police district to address the arrested participants. The 20 participants are still in Manila Police District Headquarters as of writing. 

 

 

June is more than just another month for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a celebration of identity and a continuing fight for our rights. So if anyone says Pride March is just a block party, remember this incident.

Read more:
Learn about the T in LGBTQ+ with this pay-what-you-can guidebook
These five LGBTQ+ books portray issues that we should know about
Why is the rainbow gay?

Art by Rogin Losa

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