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Rainbow Pride 2011 event ends with organisers praising police work

The spokesperson for Rainbow Pride 2011, Romana Schlesinger, as well as Bratislava mayor Milan Ftáčnik, expressed their satisfaction with the work of the police during the event that took place in the centre of Bratislava on June 4, the TASR newswire reported.

The spokesperson for Rainbow Pride 2011, Romana Schlesinger, as well as Bratislava mayor Milan Ftáčnik, expressed their satisfaction with the work of the police during the event that took place in the centre of Bratislava on June 4, the TASR newswire reported.

According to estimates, around 1,500 people took part in the march to promote the rights of non-heterosexuals.

"Bratislava can call itself an open city, also for LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals) people," said Ftáčnik, as quoted by TASR.

Schlesinger said that representatives of many embassies were present at Hviezdoslavovo Square to support the parade. In addition to Slovaks, participants came from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland as well as western European countries.

Bratislava regional police spokesperson Petra Hrašková informed that a group of 26 people who were trying to disturb the march at the Novy Most (New Bridge) were brought in for police questioning. In addition, a few dozen supporters of the extremist People's Party - Our Slovakia (Ľudová strana – Naše Slovensko) watched the event from a certain distance at Hviezdoslavovo Square, holding a banner dishonouring homosexuals but standing calmly.

The anti-gay protesters were divided from the crowd by police barriers and they were monitored by armed police officers. Various security measures were in place and police also accompanied the participants during the march itself.

Schlesinger expressed thanks to all people who came on Saturday to the centre of Slovakia's capital to support the event.

"[In 2010] Slovakia was the last country of the European Union to organise the Rainbow Pride parade. I would like to ask you to have fun, to make some noise," Schesinger said to around one hundred participants. The event was visited by two MEPs - Ulrike Lunacek from Austria and Marije Cornelissen from Holland.

Lunacek stressed that homosexuals, bisexuals and other non-heterosexuals belong to the centre of the society, not to its margins, and that there is no need to be afraid of them. Slovak MEP Monika Flašíková-Beňová (Smer) supported the parade as well.

Participants of Rainbow Pride are fighting for the right thing – for their rights and freedom – said Slovakia’s Speaker of Parliament and chairman of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, Richard Sulík, who took part in the event. The chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS), Ján Slota, on Saturday labelled the Rainbow Pride parade Bratislava 2011as a "disgusting fuss".

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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