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IDAHOT Vake Park Guerrilla Action

17 May 2018

Appeal from Vake Park (at the memorial of victory over Fascism): 

17th of May is the day against homophobia and Transphobia. We tried to celebrate IDAHOT for the first time in 2012, although the counter demonstration organised by Orthodox Parents’ Union made it impossible to finish the rally. After one year, the counter demonstration was organised not by some informal groups, but by a legitimate institution - Orthodox Church itself. Activists and Journalists were injured. Instead of reflecting on this large-scale violence, in 2014, Orthodox church announced May 17 as a Family Purity Day. Thus, the day to fight violence turned into the day to celebrate homophobia, annually, in the name of love.

In parallel, during recent years, we have seen unprecedented rise of informal extremist groups, which directly preach hatred. Almost daily, we hear them publicly calling for bloodshed and violence. We are only allowed to use our right for freedom of expression in an extremely enhanced security conditions, surrounded with the cordons. This is the reality which affects not only us, one group of the society. If more people don’t understand the threats following the rise of this kind of extremist and fascist groups, if the government doesn’t address it clearly, that calling for violence and inciting hatred towards certain groups is not what freedom of expression means, then tomorrow there will be more and more groups in our society facing the fact that they can only express their opinion by being surrounded with the police cordons.

Our event was planned to be held in parallel of the demonstration that we cancelled, but given the current context, it has now gained a new meaning. It is very symbolic for us to appeal to the whole society from this very place, a memorial of victory over Fascism: Let us unite against Fascism to win!"

Follow the link for the full texts of the appeals from 6 different locations: