July 1, 2019

Skopje Pride 2019 – Thanks for the support and recognition of the institutions

On Saturday, the first Pride Parade took place in Skopje, in a beautiful atmosphere and with a number that exceeded our expectations. In response to the great wave
of hatred we witnessed in the past, more than a thousand people took to the streets of Skopje to give their support against the violence, stigmatization and non-acceptance of LGBTI people. Many citizens, public figures, activists from all over the region, representatives of the Parliament and the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, embassies and international human rights organizations joined the members of the domestic LGBTI community. The march started from Park Woman Warrior, with the final destination being City Park.

At the Shell (at City Park) several inspirational and emotional speeches were given by Koco Andonovski and Biljana Ginova from the LGBTI Support Center, Elena Petrovska from HERA, Antonio Mihajlov from the Subversive Front, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy – Mila Carova, and the coordinator of the inter-party parliamentary group for the advancement of rights of the LGBTI people – Maya Morachanin. The first Skopje Pride received broad support from the region, expressed in speeches by: Jenny Karaj – Tirana Pride, Marko Mihailovic – Belgrade Pride, Jasmina Kresojevic – Fem Slem Belgrade, Apostolis Karabaaris and Fevronia Kirkmali from Thessaloniki Pride, and Rafail Bilidas – Athens Pride.

On this occasion we would like to give public recognition to the Ministry of Interior for the excellent cooperation before and during the Skopje Pride Parade, as well
as for their professionalism. The Ministry of Interior had consistently implemented its preventive role during the event, without compromising the sense of security among the participants. In addition, the police successfully prevented an attempt to attack an activist in a suburban neighborhood in Skopje, after the Skopje Pride Parade ended. We encourage the ministry to continue to monitor hate speech and to act accordingly. A special appeal is addressed to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, from which we expect a more energetic fight against this phenomenon that produces violence.