On Saturday, two apparent homophobic attacks were reported in Berlin, Germany’s capital, after approximately 3,50,000 people marched in a pride parade. Police reported two attacks following Berlin’s annual pro-LGBTQ Christopher Street Day celebrations. The first attack targeted three teenagers, while the second targeted a 32-year-old man. On Saturday evening, a group of nine people confronted two girls aged 16 and 17 and a 15-year-old boy in Berlin’s Mitte neighbourhood. According to police, the group approached the two girls and made anti-gay comments to them, presumably because of their clothing.
When the 16-year-old girl responded, one of the men in the group knocked her hat off her head and tripped her, causing her to fall to the ground. When she stood up, the same man punched her in the face and ran away. The girl had minor injuries, including a cut on her lip, but she refused medical attention. In the second incident, a group of eight people insulted a 32-year-old man in central Berlin around 3:15 a.m. Sunday. They pursued him and physically attacked him, kicking his head and upper body while he lay on the ground.
The attackers fled after a woman passing by saw the attack and stopped in front of the victim. The man received outpatient treatment for cuts and bruises. The incidents occurred at the end of a day in which hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Berlin to support LGBTQ rights. After revising its initial estimate of 150,000, police now estimate that the total crowd size is 350,000. The parade itself, according to police, was peaceful.
Saturday was the first time Berlin’s annual celebration had been held largely free of restrictions since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It was cancelled in 2020 and was significantly reduced last year due to pandemic-related rules. The parade is called the Christopher Street Day celebrations in honour of the Stonewall Uprising, which began on New York’s Christopher Street in 1969. The Uprising resulted in the first pride parade and the designation of June as Pride Month.