Reclaim Pride group plans alternative march to take the place of the canceled Pride Parade

Activist group seeks to return Pride events to their roots as civil rights protests rather than big parties.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 29.07.2021 10:15 (updated on 29.07.2021)

The annual Prague Pride is taking place from Aug. 2 to 8 but without the traditional parade. Another group, though, is planning a march on Aug. 7 that in part is a protest against how mainstream many pride events have become.

Reclaim Pride describes themselves as a group of young queer activists who are creating an inclusive, feminist, green, and queer platform.

On Aug. 7 they will stage Reclaim Pride – March for Equality! The event will start at 1 pm in front of Prague Castle. After an hour of protest and speeches, participants will march to náměstí Jana Palacha, where the event will end around 3 pm.

Confirmed speakers include lower house Deputy František Kopřiva (Pirates), former Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Džamila Stehlíková (Greens), Remy Bonny from Forbidden Colors, Johana Bázlerová from @Jsemvobraze, and Lucia Zachariášová from JsmeFér.

The organizers from Reclaim Pride claim the the Prague Pride Festival is not inclusive enough.

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“We have many reasons [for the march]. Their audacity of still using the non-inclusive ‘LGBT’ instead of at least ‘LGBTQ+’ or our disapproval of pride being commercial are just some [reasons] but important enough to start the Czech version of Reclaim Pride for everyone,” organizer Kryštof Stupka said in a press release.

He also listed more global reasons including violence and harassment aimed at the LGBT community.

“But mainly, we are motivated by the recent events, which prove that there is a need for a protest March for Equality. Hate speech online and offline, even from MPs and the Czech President, the hateful attack on Jakub Starý from LUI Magazine, the horrifying attack on Tbilisi Pride, brutal murder of Samuel Luise in Spain, these events and many other that go unnoticed show that we cannot stay silent,” he said.

At the end of May 2021, Starý and his partner were walking on the Prague waterfront and were reportedly being attacked by a group of eight people who made homophobic comments. Starý lost a tooth and had bruises all over hsi body, while his partner and another person received blows to their heads. Police are investigating the case.

“Let's unite together and fight against hate speech and discriminatory laws. Let's gather and work on social and legal change. LGBTQI+ community deserves it,” he said.

“Despite what many might think, Czech Republic has long to go to achieve equality for LGBTQI+ persons,” he added.

Reclaim Pride was first founded in New York City as a movement of LGBTQI+ groups and activists. The intention was to to return Pride Marches to their original purpose as protests, instead of being “parties for cis gays and lesbians.”

The first Reclaim Pride event was in 2019 on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a key moment at the start of the movement for civil rights for the LGBT community. According to their own description it was an inclusive march for all queers and an anticapitalist safe-space for everyone.

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The organizers of Prague Pride told Expats.cz that they are not organizing or promoting the Reclaim Pride march, and not adding it to the schedule of events.

“We’ve decided not to organize a Pride Parade because of the ongoing pandemic situation. We would be unable to check that the restrictions (masks, FFP2 or any rule at that time) are followed by all attendees. Prague Pride Festival is a safe space for anyone to be and express who they really are. … Prague Pride does not organize nor promote this event.,” a press representative of Prague Pride said in an email.  

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