LGBT Solidarity March in Norway for canceled Pride Parade
HELSINKI (AP) — Hundreds of people marched through Norway’s capital on Saturday in an LBGT solidarity event to honor the Pride parade that was canceled in June after a fatal shooting outside a popular gay bar.
‘Rainbow Train’ walkers passed through Oslo’s central nightlife district where a man identified as Zaniar Matapour shot and killed two men and injured several others outside the London Pub on June 25, just hours before the scheduled start of the Pride Parade.
Norwegian citizen Matapour is being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and terrorism. His motive for the shooting remains unclear, but police say hate crime is a possibility.
Organizers stressed that Saturday’s event was not meant to replace the original Pride Parade, but rather a show of solidarity with Norway’s LBGT community.
« It’s absolutely fantastic, » Oslo Pride spokesman Dan Bjoerke told Norwegian news agency NTB. « There’s a sea of people out there who will show everyone that love wins. We need to have diversity, we need to have a society where people can be allowed to be themselves without fear.
Prime Minister Jan Stoere Gahr was among many Norwegian politicians who took part.
“We are taking to the streets. This is not the Pride Parade we had planned for June, but it is a celebration that is important for people to express these important values,” Stoere told NTB.
Saturday’s event ended with a concert in Oslo.
The Associated Press