Amnesty International UK AmnestyBrum show solidarity with Baltic Pride For immediate release: Monday 23rd May 2011 In the Birmingham Pride Parade for 2011, AmnestyBrum (the Amnesty International group for Central Birmingham) will be showing their solidarity with Baltic Pride. The AmnestyBrum float in the Birmingham Pride Parade will play host to Latvian guests from LGBT group Mozaika, who help organise Baltic Pride in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Pride is made very difficult in the Baltic by far-right groups, who turn out to throw insults and debris at the defiant Pride marchers, and have to be held back by police cordons. So, the float will celebrate “Baltic Pride in Birmingham” – it will reflect typical scenes from the Eastern European event, with Baltic flags and slogans overcoming the homophobic groups who oppose it.
The Birmingham Pride organisers will meet with the Mozaika delegates at the Pride Patrons’ Reception at the Malmaison ‘Pink Champagne Marquee’ on Saturday at 13.30, and have offered the them a chance to speak about their experiences on Sunday afternoon, at 14.20 on the Community Stage. AmnestyBrum are working with the organisers of Birmingham Pride and are supporting a campaign to twin Birmingham Pride and Baltic Pride.
Kaspars Zalatis, from Mozaika said: ‘We are delighted to be part of the AmnestyBrum float and are thankful to both them and the organisers of Birmingham Pride 2011 for their support. Our wish is that Baltic Pride can be the celebration of the LGBT community and that we can share the same rights that they have in the UK. To this end we are working in partnership with AmnestyBrum and Birmingham Pride to see if we can develop a twinning arrangement between the two events.’
Pete Doubtfire, from AmnestyBrum said: ‘What Mozaika and all those who organise Baltic Pride have to go through to put on a parade to defend the human rights of the LGBT community is truly inspirational. By taking part in the Birmingham Pride parade we will show our solidarity with them and other LGBT people around the world who are denied their full human rights. We are delighted that that those organising Birmingham Pride 2011 have been supportive of our attempts to forge links with Baltic Pride to show international solidarity with those standing up for LGBT rights there. We hope local people will join us in sending a message of solidarity to the organisers of Baltic Pride by visiting us at our stall in the Community Tent over the weekend.’
The next Baltic Pride will be taking place in Riga in 2012, and members of AmnestyBrum are planning to head out to Latvia to join in the march. We will be showing solidarity, and declaring “Mīlestība arī ir cilvēktiesība!” (“Love is a human right!” in Lativian), defending the right to be proud, which we take for granted here in the UK, and yet is under threat in the Baltic. If other local people wish to join us at Baltic Pride 2012 or find out more about the local group, they should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the AmnestyBrum website at www.amnestybrum.wordpress.com.
For photo opportunities and the chance to speak to AmnestyBrum members or Mozaika please contact Pete Doubtfire at email@example.com