Pic: UK Gay News

Despite an initial ban, Riga’s Administrative Court allowed the first Baltic Pride march to go ahead on Saturday in the Latvian capital. According to UK Gay News, around 600 people took part in the event.

The march took place in and around Vçrmaòdârzs Park in the city centre and was attended by people from the three Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as participants from around the world; including five representatives from Pride London, which is ‘twinned’ with Riga Pride.

Anti-gay protestors were allowed to gather in a separate area and there were no reports of any incidents.

The march was banned last week by the city council’s Commission on Meetings, Marches and Demonstrations, but on Friday the courts lifted the ban after the city council was unable to offer any justifiable reason as to why it should not go ahead.

Pic: UK Gay News

Riga’s Mayor, Janis Birks reportedly issued a statement calling on people in the city “to learn to live together despite their differences”.

Martin K.I. Christensen, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive board, who was in Riga for Pride welcomed the peaceful nature of the event:

“We are delighted that the Baltic Pride march took place peacefully and with no incidents. This is the first time the participants of a Pride event in Riga were able to leave the venue not by police buses but by foot and no one was harassed or attacked.”

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