Thessaloniki erupts in protest after brutal attack on transgender couple

Thousands protested after an attack on two trans people (@teacherdude on X/Twitter)

A large-scale demonstration erupted in Thessaloniki, Greece, condemning a recent violent attack against two transgender individuals.

The protest, organised within a day of the incident, saw a diverse crowd estimated at 3,000-4,000 individuals march through the city. LGBTQ+ groups, women's rights organisations, anti-fascist movements, and student bodies joined forces in a powerful display of solidarity.

Tensions flared as the demonstration progressed, with reports of clashes between protestors and riot police. Authorities reportedly deployed tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

The incident stems from a violent assault on Saturday, March 9th, where a mob targeted two 21-year-old transgender individuals. Subjected to verbal abuse and physical assault, the victims were forced to seek refuge in a local restaurant.

Local police intervened, detaining 25 individuals, with 21 arrests made, including minors.

Thessaloniki's mayor publicly condemned the act, emphasizing the city's commitment to fostering a tolerant and inclusive society.

This incident comes amidst a significant moment for LGBTQ+ rights in Greece. Just a week prior, the nation became the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption.

Representatives from the European Pride organizers expressed their condolences to the victims and highlighted the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ equality. They emphasized the importance of Pride events in promoting inclusivity and challenging societal prejudice.

Thessaloniki Pride organizers acknowledged the recent attack and assured the public that safety remains a top priority for the upcoming EuroPride event. They anticipate increased vigilance from authorities during the festivities.

The ongoing Thessaloniki Documentary Festival condemned the attack, reiterating their unwavering commitment to fostering a culture of acceptance and inclusivity.

Lesbian activist Maria Katsikadakou voiced her concerns, questioning the effectiveness of recent legal advancements in fostering lasting societal change. Artist Fil Ieropoulos echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the disconnect between legal progress and the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in Greece.

Sources reported a concerning rise in hateful anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric on Greek social media platforms, particularly Twitter, following the attack.


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