Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A pro- vs anti-LGBT clash, a small town edition

On Saturday, Pilsen Pride took place in Pilsen. It's funny to see these marches addressing "global questions and movements" in the streets and parks that I am so intimately familiar with.

Some of the videos linked to in the previous sentence show the LGBTQ participants themselves, colored and beautified folks who look similar as participants of the "pride" parades in larger cities than Pilsen – which has 170,000 inhabitants.

However, the short video above focuses on the anti-rally of about 50 people from the Czech Pilsen (they have their own T-shirts, it seems! The 2x2 rectangle white-yellow-green-red flag is a flag of Pilsen of some kind) and some members of DSSS, a "workers' nationalist party". They decided to block the Wooden Street, going from the central square (Square of the Republic) to the East (down), in the middle.

Funnily, the U.S. stereotypes about the divisions don't really work so some of the LGBTQ demonstrators had a gay-fishon icon – meaning they were Christians – while the anti-demonstrators were probably mostly atheists. The anti-demonstrators were shouting "Stop the Deviants", "We Are Also Defending Your Children", "Justice Is on Our Side", and they were asking the police for help. However, the LGBTQ rally was properly announced at the city hall so I obviously find it right that the riot police guaranteed that the sexual minorities could safely march through the planned route.

After all, police did exactly the same to a rally with Okamura, Le Pen, Wilders, and others on the Wenceslaus Square in Prague a few months ago.

It's sort of cute when such street clashes make it to a non-global town like Pilsen. On one hand, the number of participants on both sides is much higher than "several people" so you can't say it's an idiosyncrasy of several individuals. On the other hand, the numbers are limited enough so that you may see the personality of individuals, it makes sense to focus on them – and you might perhaps memorize all the participants, at least the counter-protesters.

The counter-protesters seem like the typical harsh people living ordinary lives – somewhat similar to the kind of folks who are so essential as fans of soccer and ice-hockey. The two groups visibly disagree with each other but I think you will agree that none of them really wants some brutal bloody conflict. Some of the counter-protesters shouted that the police will be accountable when the cops' kids become f*gs or the other things. Some of the chants were pretty entertaining.

According to some surveys, some 75% of Czechs answer that they support "gay marriage". The devil is in the details. Under some circumstances and with a certain formulation of the question, I could be in that majority, too. Czechs are very tolerant and they wish everyone to realize his planned happiness as he or she wants. On the other hand, I think that a clear majority of Czechs is actually allergic to exhibitionism such as the marches of "pride". The 50 counter-protesters really are close to the mainstream as well – they just couldn't attract many more participants because most people don't find a rally like that important enough to go to the streets, regardless of their opinion.

I am grateful to the Czech Pilsen etc. folks for their activity because I think that without the signs of some muscles on this side, our nation could be drifting in the same direction as Western Europe where these things have gotten completely out of control and where the disagreement with these loud minorities became de facto impossible.

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