Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets, Istanbul Pride March 2017

featured image via getty images

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The largest gay pride march in a predominantly Muslim world since 2003.  Tens of thousands of individuals showing up to embrace and celebrate.  Happiness, and acceptance, a place to be free.  Istanbul’s gay and transgender pride parade has been banned twice before in past years.  This year, however, the ban could not stop activists of the LGBTQ community from taking part

Activists of the LGBTQ community gathered in Istanbul Sunday morning as an act of defiance, resistance but more importantly unification.  Large numbers of individuals showed up to defy this ban and walk together waving their flags, and banners, spreading their positive energy and passion with their colleagues and those watching.

 

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Riot officers moving to detain activists defying the ban on the Pride march.  Photo By: Emrah Gurel

 

Amongst those watching, were a great number of Turkish riot officers who would later deploy tear gas, fire rubber bullets, and arrest dozens of activists.

The riot officers used rubber bullets alongside tear gas to break up the crowd of marchers as they chanted and danced throughout the streets.  Entrances to the parade route were closed off, and police proceeded to arrest dozens of individuals taking part in the march and some individuals reporting for media.

 

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Riot officers blocking a parade entry. Specifically Istiklal Avenue a gathering spot for the activists.  Photo By: Bulent Kilic – Getty Images

These acts against the community were not and should not be tolerated and have sparked movements within many different communities around the world.  Certain organizers of the pride march in Istanbul released this statement in response to the ban, ” We are the ones who declared the revolution of love and gender identity. We are the ones who are excluded, ignored and yet resilient. […] Governors, governments, states change, we stay. These threats, bans, pressures will not stop us! ”

 

( You can find the article in which this statement was released here )

together we are stronger

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melodytajalli

" Art and love are the same thing: It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you." -CK Insta: melodytajalli Twitter: melodytajalli

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