First Bat Yam Pride Parade

The first Bat Yam Pride event is scheduled to take place next Tuesday. The event is organized by City Council member Kati Plasecki-Morag, The Aguda – Israel's LGBT Task Force, the Reform Community for Equality, and the Gay Wave (Bat Yam Pride), with the aim of protesting violation of LGBTQ rights and encouraging pluralism and equality in Israel at large, and Bat Yam in particular.

Police stipulated requirements for the event on a series of draconian conditions at the expense of the organizers, which in fact compromised the feasibility of holding the event. Among other things, organizers were required to fence off the event complex with a two-meter high fence and place six security guards at entrances, including handheld metal detectors and tally counters. These extraneous and illegal requirements are estimated at tens of thousands of shekels.

Yesterday (June 26, 2019) ACR contacted the Ayalon District Police Chief and demanded that these requirements be retracted. Attorney Ronni Pelli of ACRI wrote that maintaining public order and exercising the constitutional right to freedom of expression and demonstration are among the central, distinct and essential functions of the Israel Police. "It is inconceivable that each station will demand whimsical and arbitrary requirements as it sees fit," Attorney Pelli wrote. She noted that last year the police had set similar requirements for holding the pride parade in Kfar Saba, and only after ACRI filed a petition with the High Court of Justice did the police retract their demands.

Following ACRI’s appeal, today (June 27, 2019) the police announced that they will rescind their demands of the organizers of the parade in Bat Yam. Thus, the Bat Yam Pride Parade will be held as planned.

Attorney Roni Pelli: "Pride month events are protest events for all intents and purposes, and as such, the police must bear the brunt of security costs. It is inconceivable that the right to demonstrate will be solely reserved for the wealthy. We applaud the police's decision and wish the participants of the event in Bat Yam and everyone happy pride festivities, and equality for all."

ACRI appeal to the police, June 26, 2019 (Hebrew)

#LGBT #FreedomofExpression #RighttoProtest

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