Leader of the Israeli National LGBT Task Force Marched At Kiev’s Gay Pride

Around 2,000 activists, surrounded by 5,000 police officers, marched Sunday at Kiev’s gay pride parade. Chen Arieli, chair of The Aguda: “A few minutes into the march I couldn’t stop the tears.”


Chen Arieli at Kiev’s Gay Pride Parade.

“I don’t even know how to begin summarizing this experience. We have just finished marching in gay pride in Kiev. Under heavy security, surrounded by a live ring of policemen and security forces, I walked excitedly with my heart in my mouth.”

Chen Arieli, The Aguda’s chair, was among 2,000 brave souls who marched in the Kiev Pride parade that took place Sunday June 18. The marchers were protected by 5,000 police officers who kept anti-gay protesters at bay.

“A few minutes into the march I couldn’t stop the tears,” Chen Arieli writes. “‘Human rights above all!’ I marched and yelled with the rest of them in Ukrainian without even knowing the language. Walking and thinking about the true meaning of our struggle. About the work we still have to do; Here, in Israel, and all over the world. We’re all different and we’re all equal.”

It is estimated that around 200 anti-LGBT protesters turned up at the event which saw a few violent break-outs between police and protesters. Anti-LGBT protesters were photographed burning a rainbow flag.

Participants were unharmed during the parade, but two policemen sustained minor injuries while detaining six protesters against the event, Ukrainian law enforcement structures said.

Chen Arieli concludes: “Human rights are human rights. And I swear here in these foreign streets that as long as I breathe I will do all I can for this cause. Solidarity for all, equality for all.”