“The shooting in the night hours put an end to the Pride parade, but it did not stop the fight and the efforts to fight discrimination, prejudice and hatred”
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY RAPHAEL RENTER VIA UNSPLASH
On 25 June, mere hours before Oslo Pride was due to take place, a 42-year-old man opened fire outside the London Pub, the Herr Nislen jazz club and a takeaway. Two people lost their lives and at least 21 were injured. The shooter, Zaniar Matapour, has been charged with attempted murder and terrorist acts.
Following this tragedy, Oslo Pride swiftly followed the advice of the police and cancelled the parade. Pride flags and flower bouquets were left outside the London Pub in memorial. Whilst the parade was officially cancelled, thousands gathered in solidarity and defiance carrying flowers and rainbow flags and staged their very own Pride march.
Oslo Pride 🏳️🌈 you cannot silence us! pic.twitter.com/J1haxnkR3k— Matt (@bmattia_) June 25, 2022
On Sunday morning, a small group of people came together in Oslo Cathedral to grieve the lives lost. The altar was draped with the colours of the LGBTQI flag. Among those in attendance was prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre who said: “The shooting in the night hours put an end to the Pride parade, but it did not stop the fight and the efforts to fight discrimination, prejudice and hatred.”
He also addressed the Muslim community: “I know how many of you felt when it turned out that the perpetrator belonged to the Islamic community. Many of you experienced fear and unrest. You should know this: We stand together, we are one community and we are responsible for the community together.”
The head of the Norwegian Protestant Church, Olav Fykse Tveit added a poignant message that “Bullets cannot kill love.”
He also said: “We see that we can learn, sometimes in spite of ourselves, that diversity is a present, a richness, and that many homosexuals have a capacity for love that we are incapable of.”
Every year, it seems there are still some that ask “why do we still need Pride?” The events of the last week pose a stark reminder that we must continue to fight until we are all safe and equal to love who we love, and live how we live as DIVA publisher, Linda Riley, stated this weekend.
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