Masses greet Stockholm Pride march

Thousands of people lined the streets of Stockholm on Saturday to take part in what organisers claim to be the single largest event in Scandinavia, The Stockholm Pride Parade.

This year the procession through the city was led by motorcycle association Dykes on Bikes for the annual event which is always one of Stockholm’s liveliest and most colourful events. It started at the Zinkensdamm sports centre in Södermalm, ending in the middle of the town at Sergels Torg.

The days leading up to the festival were however marred by news of an assault on one of the many volunteer workers in the early hours of Friday. The person was set upon by two attackers in Slussen, Central Stockholm, and had to be taken to hospital.

However, Gunnar Nihlén, security manager for the festival, reported that the victim of the attack was recovering well and that it was an isolated incident in what had been a relatively peaceful build up to the festival.

The British Embassy was among the organizations actively supporting the event. Embassy staff took part in the march – the only embassy where staff officially took part – as a way of supporting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights. According to the Embassy’s Facebook page, they also used the opportunity to promote the UK and the London 2012 Olympics campaign.

The parade is one of hundreds of separate events that make up Stockholm Pride, which is now taking place annually since 1988. The festival is packed with seminars, debates, workshops, exhibitions, film, theatre and other performances and many proceeds this year will go towards funding Stockholm Pride’s solidarity work, which provides support for organisations outside Sweden.

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