For safety, Ugandan activists delay Pride parade

In the wake of the police raid on the Mr. and Miss Pride pageant and threats of violence during the upcoming Pride Parade, the Ugandan Pride 2016 organizing committee decided to postpone all further events of Pride Week until a safer date. Those events include the annual parade on Aug. 6, planned for a private location outside of Kampala, the country’s capital.

This is the committee’s official statement:

Dear community members, friends, partners/allies,

Uganda Pride logo
Uganda Pride logo

We wish to thank you for the support in any kind you offered us and each other during yesterday’s police raid. We are disheartened that the pride week events have been disrupted.

We are giving all the support that is needed to the person who sustained serious injuries as he tried to flee for his life. With the support from our partners @Chapter4 and Hrapf Uganda, the boy who was trapped in a shop at the mall where last evenings event was held, was released on police bond. The partners continue to follow up on that case.

Simon Lokodo, Ugandan ethics minister, describes his treatment of LGBTI people during a PBS NewsHour interview.
Simon Lokodo, Ugandan ethics minister, describes his treatment of LGBTI people during a PBS NewsHour interview.

Earlier today, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity [Simon Lokodo]  in a press statement indicated that he would do anything in his authority to make sure that the pride parade does not happen as planned. He added that if police did not do anything about it, he will incite violence by calling on the public to storm the venue and do harm.

Our partners and allies have started negotiations with top government officials to have this decision turned around.

As the committee, we have agreed that all the remaining events of the pride week to be postponed as we await a positive outcome from the already going negotiations.

This is to allow us to get enough time to also reorganise and give us all time to clear our heads and relax after what happened last evening.

We will be communicating the new dates as soon as the negotiations are completed.

To our friends and partners that had traveled from out of Uganda to grace the Pride Uganda 2016, we thank you for the support.

We call on all community members to please communicate to members who will be traveling from different parts of the country that the events have been postponed. Please share this information so that members don’t go to the pick up points that were earlier communicated.

Please keep away from the venues, as they might be under police surveillance. You do not want to be found in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For any further information or details, please don’t hesitate to consult.
Please keep calm, and stay safe. We are doing all this with so much consideration of everyone’s security and safety.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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